Last year’s Lok Sabha election campaigns had witnessed amazing election promises made by various political parties and politicians. On one hand, Andhra Pradesh based Lok Satta Party promised to nationalize the sale of liquor, while MDMK, a BJP ally in Tamil Nadu, guaranteed to rename the country as “United States of India” to put emphasis on the federal structure. However, amid all the unique and weird promises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignited a hope in the hearts of 1.252 billion of Indians by promising Rs 15 lakhs to be transferred in their bank accounts by recovering black money within 100 days.
The 100 days swiftly passed away and Pradhan Mantriji even travelled abroad on janta’s hard-earned money. Soon, Bhartiya Janta Party president Amit Shah declared Modi’s promise as a chunavi jumla (idiomatic expression).
As Sheldon Cooper, a character from famous American sitcom Big Bang Theory, says, “Once again, you’ve fallen for one of my classic pranks. BAZINGA,” similarly, Modi tricked billions of Indians by his empty promises.
Gradually, the moment of truth struck the blind followers who ended up trolling Modi heavily on social media channels. Prime Minister received major heartburns when the followers asked him directly ‘Where is my Rs 15 lakhs?’ on Twitter.
While the followers are still hoping for the ‘best,’ NewsGram asked people what will they do if they get 15 lakhs in their bank accounts as promised by our very own Modiji.
Rohan, who was on a shopping spree in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, told us, “I would keep those 15 lakhs with myself and would buy a house.”
Mohammad Iqbal, a tailor, said that he will invest it in a business and will open a clothing shop. “I will expand my business and would also increase the wages of my employees,” he added.
On the other hand, Zakir, a shoe shop salesman, has lost all the hopes that Narendra Modi will even fulfill his election promise. “Let the money come first. I see no hope of Rs 15 lakhs coming in our accounts,” told Zakir.
In the world of greed and insatiability, there are still a few people who want to contribute towards the improvement of the Indian society.“I want to do something for senior citizens. I will open an old-age home once I get the money,” told Ramesh Pradhan, a second-hand bookstore owner in Lajpat Nagar, to NewsGram.
Indeed, there were few who found the promise humorous. “I will quit work and spend my lifetime with those Rs 15 lakhs,” laughingly told Janardan, a rickshaw-puller.
Well, we can still digest the fact that Modi’s ’Rs 15-lakh promise’ is a chunavi jumla, but what about crores of black money stashed away in foreign banks? Where are those Acche Din (good days) that you promised, Mr. PM?
The sudden revolt against Chief Justice of India (CJI) by the four senior-most judges of Supreme Court has sent the whole judicial system into an uproar.
The four judges accused the CJI of corruption and breaches in a surprise Press Conference.
Judge Loya’s death’s controversy, supposedly, sparked this reaction out of the other judges.
Divisions in the Supreme Court burst out in the open on Friday when four senior-most judges took an unprecedented step of addressing the media to accuse Chief Justice Dipak Misra of breaching rules in assigning cases to appropriate benches, with one of them pointing to the plea regarding the mysterious death of Special CBI judge B. H. Loya.
At a hurriedly called press conference at his residence, Justice J. Chelameswar and three other colleagues said the Supreme Court administration was “not in order” and their efforts to persuade Justice Misra even this morning “with a specific request” failed, forcing them to “communicate with the nation” directly.
The four judges — Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur besides Justice Chelameswar — released a letter they wrote to Justice Misra a couple of months ago, conceding that he was the master of roster but that was “not a recognition of any superior authority, legal or factual of the Chief Justice over his colleagues”.
Asked specifically if they were upset over reference of the matter seeking a probe into the suspicious death of Judge Loya, Justice Gogoi said: “Yes.”
Judge Loya, who was hearing a case relating to the killing of gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged fake shootout in which BJP chief Amit Shah was named an accused (later discharged), died of cardiac arrest in 2014. His family has raised doubts over the circumstances in which Judge Loya died and have sought an independent probe into it.
Plea’s seeking probe came up for a hearing in the Supreme Court on Friday when the top court expressed concerns over it and said it was a “serious issue”. It asked the Maharashtra government to produce all the documents related to the case before January 15.
In a seven-page letter, the four judges said they were not mentioning details of the cases only to avoid embarrassing the institution because “such departures have already damaged the images of this institution to some extent”.
The clash among the judges in the highest court also comes in the wake of a controversial order in November in which Justice Misra declared that the Chief Justice “is the master of the roster” having exclusive power to decide which case will go to which judge.
The CJI had given the order a day after a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar had passed an order that a five-judge bench of senior most judges in the apex court should be set up to consider an independent probe into a corruption case in which bribes were allegedly taken in the name of settling cases pending before Supreme Court judges.
Holding that the Chief Justice was only the first among equals, the four judges contended that there were well-settled and time-honoured conventions guiding the Chief Justice in dealing with the strength of the bench required or the composition thereof.
“A necessary corollary to the above-mentioned principle is the members of any multi-numbered judicial body, including this court, would not arrogate to themselves the authority to deal with and pronounce upon matters which ought to be heard by appropriate benches, both composition-wise and strength-wise with due regard to the roster fixed,” they wrote in the letter.
They said any departure from the two rules would not only lead to “unpleasant and undesirable consequences of creating doubt in the body politic about the integrity of the institution” but would create “chaos”.
The four judges also touched upon another controversial issue, the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) on the appointment of judges over which the Supreme Court had locked horns with the government.
The government, the letter said, had not responded to the communication and “in view of this silence it must be taken that the MoP has been accepted by the government on the basis of the order of this court”.
Justice Chelameswar told the media that they were “convinced that unless this institution is protected and maintains its requirements, democracy will not survive in the country or any country… The hallmark of a democracy is independent and impartial judges.
“Since all our efforts failed… Even this morning, on a particular issue, we went and met the Chief Justice with a specific request. Unfortunately, we could not convince him that we were right.”
Justice Gogoi said they were “discharging the debt to the nation that has got us here”.
The government appeared to distance itself from the controversy, saying the judges should sort the issue themselves.
Minister of State for Law P. Chaudhary said: “Our judiciary is one of the known, recognised judiciaries in the world. It is an independent judiciary. At this stage, I think no agency is required to intervene or interfere. The Chief Justice and other members should sit together and resolve. There is no question of panic.”
The Supreme Court split had an immediate political fallout, with CPI leader D. Raja saying after meeting Justice Chelameswar that Parliament will have to devise methods to sort out problems like this in the top judiciary.
Two judges, Justice S. A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageshwar Rao, are understood to have called on Justice Chelameswar. IANS