Lawyers’ body concerned over issues raised by judge Chelameswar

Condemning the move of inquiry against a recommendee of the collegium, the AILU said if the collegium’s recommendations cannot be accepted, these should have been referred to the apex court for reconsideration.

New Delhi : A lawyers’ body has expressed grave concern over the issues raised by Supreme Court’s senior-most judge Justice J Chelameswar in a letter to the Chief Justice of India urging him to convene a full court to deal with the alleged executive interference in judiciary.

“The letter of Justice Chelameswar reveals direct interference of central government in the process of appointment of judges in the High Court. The letter clearly shows that the independence of the Judiciary is in peril now,” the All India Lawyers Union (AILU) said in a statement.

It said that lawyers across the country were concerned with the latest revelations made in the letter in which Justice Chelameswar has questioned the probe initiated by Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari against District and Sessions Judge Krishna Bhat at the request of the Ministry of Law and Justice, despite his name being recommended for elevation twice by the Collegium.

“More painful for the democracy is that the present Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court has obediently succumbed to the Executive pressure. The present govt is not only deliberately destroying the independence of judiciary but few judges are also abetting it,” a statement, released by AILU President and senior advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and General Secretary Som Dutta Sharma, said.

Condemning the move of inquiry against a recommendee of the collegium, the AILU said if the collegium’s recommendations cannot be accepted, these should have been referred to the apex court for reconsideration.

“A judge is oath bound to uphold the Constitution without favour and fear. Chief Justice of Karnataka has failed in the instant case to stick to his oath. It’s time to raise voice to save both democracy and the Constitution,” the statement said.

Justice Chelameswar had shot off a letter on Martch 21  to the CJI urging him to consider convening a full court to take up the issue of alleged executive interference in judiciary. He had also cautioned that “the bonhomie between the judiciary and the government in any State sounds the death knell to democracy”.

Justice Chelameswar, who had held the unprecedented January 12 press conference along with three other senior judges raising issues including the allocation of cases by the CJI, had said, “We, the judges of the Supreme Court of India, are being accused of ceding our independence and our institutional integrity to the Executive’s incremental encroachment.

“The executive is always impatient, and brooks no disobedience even of the judiciary if it can. Attempts were always made to treat the Chief Justices as the Departmental Heads in the Secretariat. So much for our ‘independence and pre-eminence’ as a distinct State organ.”

SC judge underlines importance of online data protection, privacy

 Panaji : In wake of leakage of user data from Facebook stirring up controversy the world over, including India, Supreme Court’s Justice A.K. Sikri on Friday underlined the importance of legislation to safeguard consumer data, collected by online portals and social media platforms.

“And another important aspect is when we purchase online, when we are using Google and WhatsApp and other such portals, is the issue of data protection,” he said at an national seminar on ‘International Commercial Law’ which was organised here.

Justice Sikri however steered clear from the ongoing controversy regarding data leakage.

“I am here talking only of data protection of as far as consumers are concerned, limiting it to it, intentionally as well as consciously keeping in mind so many other aspects,” he said.

He also said that a new consumer law, which is being formulated by the Consumer ministry would cover data protection and data privacy vis a vis service providers.

“Steps are being taken by service providers for safety of data and privacy and policies needed to regulate this sector. There are going to be provisions in respect of this in our new consumer law, which is going to be introduced,” he said.

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