Govt Lawyer’s ‘Vulture’, ‘Prophets of Doom’ Remarks in SC Draw Ire

Referring to statements made by SG Mehta , Congress’ Randeep Surjewala indicated that it’s a “prelude to autocracy.”

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Law
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Referring to statements made by SG Mehta , Congress’ Randeep Surjewala indicated that it’s a “prelude to autocracy”.
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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta's complaint to the Supreme Court on Thursday, 28 May, about "prophets of doom who always spread negativity" during a hearing on migrant workers has drawn sharp reactions by many on social media.

Referring to the observations made by Mehta in the apex court on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala indicated that it's a "prelude to complete 'Autocracy & Abdication of Constitution'!"

In the hearing on Thursday on the migrant workers’ crisis amid the nationwide lockdown, SG Mehta said, "We have a handful of people in this country called prophets of doom who always spread negativity, negativity, and negativity. All these people writing on social media, giving interviews, cannot even acknowledge what is being done. None of these prophets of doom have shown any courtesy to the nation. They don't even have the patriotism to acknowledge that.”

"A large number of steps were taken by the government and the Supreme Court was fully satisfied about it earlier... State government and ministers are working overnight. None of these people acknowledge," he went on to say.

‘Need More Vultures to Keep Country’s Rulers in Check’

Mehta’s statements before the court, which also included a reference to the famous photograph of a vulture and child taken in Sudan, were criticised by many on Twitter, including advocate Prashant Bhushan, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi as well as journalists.

During the hearing, Mehta brought up the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph 'The vulture and the little girl' of 1993 by photojournalist Kevin Carter, who took his own life in 1994, saying, "He was not an activist. He was not running an NGO. He was a man with a conscience... A journalist had asked him, what happened to the child? He said 'I don't know, I had to return home'. Then the reporter asked him how many vultures were there? (Kevin) Carter said one. 'No, there were two – one was holding the camera,' said the journalist.”

He went on to say that those who come before the court must establish their credentials, whether they have spent a penny on migrant workers, and whether those who are criticising the government have come out of their air-conditioned rooms to help them, PTI reported.

“All these people wanting to intervene need to apply the vulture and child story. What have they contributed? Before entertaining any of them, ask them to file an affidavit on what has been their contribution? Except for writing on social media, penning articles, giving interviews.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, as quoted by NDTV

The Supreme Court's hearing on Thursday came amid the migrant workers' crisis across the country. Left with no jobs or income after the government announced a nationwide lockdown on 25 March to curb the spread of coronavirus, many migrant labourers were left stranded, with some of them having to walk hundreds of kilometres back home in the absence of any public transport. The government started running 'shramik trains' only from 1 May to transport them back, but many continue to be stranded.

(With inputs from NDTV, The Indian Express and PTI.)

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