Cong steers clear of row sparked by Katju

New Delhi: Congress today steered clear of the controversy over an allegation by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju that three ex-Chief Justices of India made “improper compromises” during UPA rule in retaining a judge in Tamil Nadu under corruption cloud.

“I do not think it would be appropriate to react unless A, B, C, D clarified their positions…this is a sensitive matter and the apex court is involved as also the Collegium. The need of the hour is to maintain utmost restraint.

“Keeping in mind the sensitivity, we reserve our right as of now to react,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters noting that the statement has been made by Katju several years after the alleged incident. He also wanted all stakeholders to maintain restraint.

Katju is due to retire as Chairman of Press Council of India in October.

Katju alleged how the three former CJIs–Justices R C Lahoti, Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan –made “improper compromises” in allowing the judge to continue in office despite an “adverse” Intelligence Bureau(IB) report on allegations of corruption against him.

Asked why he was making this disclosure several years, Katju said the timing was “immaterial” and instead the matter should be probed to find out whether it was correct or not.

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