BJP may revoke Ram Jethmalani’s suspension

According to the sources, “the suspension may be revoked of veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani from the BJP, for daring the party to act against him on the issue of appointment of CBI director.”

Indications to this effect were available after Jethmalani met senior leader L K Advani and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari this morning.

Jethmalani was also vocal on the resignation of Gadkari as BJP president in the wake of reported irregularities in the latter’s Purti Group.

BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain told, “At the meeting with Advani and Gadkari, Jethmalani reaffirmed his faith in the BJP’s ideology and wished that the party may come to power in the country.”

He also said the lawyer had also handed over a letter at the meeting to this effect.

According to BJP Leader Shahnawaz Hussain, “The matter will be considered by the BJP Parliamentary Board,” .

Later, Jethmalani said he had met Advani and Gadkari but refused to go into details.

Jethmalani said, “Ask the leaders… I am just a sevaadhari (servant),” was his response to questions on what transpired during the meeting.

Asked whether a decision would be taken on revoking his suspension, he said, “I hope it will happen. It should happen.”

Jethmalani was suspended from the BJP on November 26 for attacking the party stand which had taken a critical view of the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the director of the CBI.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leaders of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley had asked him to keep the CBI director’s appointment in abeyance.


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Court order on Gadkari’s plea Nov 17

In Delhi a court fixed Nov 17 to pronounce its order on a plea filed by BJP chief Nitin Gadkari seeking initiation of proceedings against Congress leader Digvijay Singh for alleged defamation.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar Oct 16 reserved the order for Nov 2 on summoning Digvijay Singh over the defamation complaint by the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) chief. It was deferred for Nov 17 as the judge was on leave Friday.

Gadkari had filed a defamation complaint on Oct 1 against the Congress leader for dragging his name into alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks. The BJP leader recorded his statement in court that he was “not responsible for any coal blocks allocation toanybody”.

In his complaint filed through advocate Ajay Digpaul and Anil Soni, Gadkari alleged that Digvijay Singh made false, baseless, scandalous, fabricated and defamatory remarks against him.

BJP for ‘cooling period’ before judges head tribunals

In an attack on judiciary, BJP today said “pre-retirement judgements are influenced by a desire for a post-retirement job”, while pitching for a two-year cooling off period for retiring judges before they are appointed to tribunals and commissions.

“Even though there is a retirement age… But the judges are unwilling to retire,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said at a conference of lawyers organised by the party’s legal cell.

“Pre-retirement judgements are influenced by a desire for a post-retirement job,” he said in his address during which he did not name anybody.

Batting for judicial reforms, the BJP leader said that he had no hesitation in supporting increase in the tenure of judges or supporting pensions equal to last drawn salaries for judges.

“But this clamour for post retirement jobs is adversely affecting impartiality of the judiciary of the country and time has come that it should come to an end,” he said.

BJP chief Nitin Gadkari while recommending a cooling off period for judges, said, “I say this with a lot of responsibility that even before they retire, it is decided for Supreme Court and High Court judges as to which Commission they will go and join.

“My suggestion is that for two years after retirement there should be a gap (before appointment), because otherwise the government can directly or indirectly influence the courts and the dream to have a independent, impartial and fair judiciary in the country would never actualise.”

Reacting to Jaitley’s statements, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, “rather than cast aspersions by insinuation, he should have the conviction of saying certain things squarely, if he knows them to be true”.

Being a former law minister, Jaitley should know that certain statutory bodies can only be headed by serving and retired judges, he said.

Jaitley also spoke in favour of creating a National Judicial Commission which would have representatives of the judiciary, government and society to look after matters related to appointments and complaints against judges.

“Now through judicial verdicts post retirement jobs are being created. My experience in this regard is quite bad. When I was a minister I would be wary while meeting a retiring judge that he should not hand me his bio data,” he said.

Criticising the process of appointment of judges, the BJP leader said, “There are two kinds of judges- those who know the law and those who know the law minister. Now we have established a system where judiciary has the last say. We are the only country in the world where judges appoint judges.

“The best are not willing to become judges. This is the second challenge,” he said.

On judicial activism, he said that courts should shed the mindset that they had to step in because other agencies were not doing their job. He said that courts could only direct others to do their duty.

“Courts can’t frame laws, courts can”t administer the state, courts can’t fight terrorism,” he said.

“I was reading a recent judgement,(what the government does we will see) that the a judge should be appointed in Information Commission and the present law should be changed. It is indirectly a direction to parliament… Something which is not acceptable on the concept of separation of powers,” Jaitley said.

The BJP leaders also attacked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleging that it worked under political pressure and said such officers should be taken to task.

Six Delhi Metro stations to remain shut on Sunday

Six Metro stations in central Delhi will be closed for most part of the day on Sunday, an apparent precautionary step following a call by erstwhile Team Anna to gherao residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari over the coal block allocation issue.

Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk, Race Course, Jor Bagh and Khan Market stations will remain closed from 8am to 6pm on Sunday, a Delhi Metro spokesman said.

However, interchange of passengers from Line 2 to Line 6 will be allowed at Central Secretariat station.

The spokesman said the decision was taken as per directions received from the Delhi Police.

The stations fall near and close to the residences of Prime Minister and Gadkari.

Accusing Congress and BJP of having hand-in-glove on the coal block allocation issue, social activist Arvind Kejriwal had yesterday announced gherao of the residences of Singh and Gadkari.

“Congress and BJP have got together to loot Rs. 1.86 lakh crore in coal scam. (There will be) gherao of Prime Minister’s and Nitin Gadkari’s residences. Let us assemble at Jantar Mantar on August 26 (at) 10am,” activist Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted on Thursday.