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Govt employing probe agencies to blackmail judiciary: Prashant Bhushan

Govt employing probe agencies to blackmail judiciary: Prashant Bhushan

Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday alleged that the government is using probe agencies to find “weaknesses” of judges and “blackmail” them.

Attempts are being made to capture the institutions which enjoy autonomy under the Constitution, he claimed, delivering a lecture in the memory of socialist leader Bapusaheb Kaldate here.

“When the government thinks that a judge (candidate for a judge`s post) would not do its bidding, it does not allow such judge to be appointed in the first place,” he said, speaking in Hindi.

Earlier, post-retirement appointments on commissions or other bodies were offered as sops to judges to influence their decision-making, he said.

“But this government has employed a new method. Prepare a file on all judges. Ask investigation agencies like IB, Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate to find out any weaknesses of judges or their relatives,” Bhushan said.

“And if any such weakness comes to light, use that information to blackmail that judge….this is happening now,” he claimed.
People should come together to resist attempts to capture institutions, he said.

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“When we adopted our Constitution, many institutions were created and they have autonomous status. But now attempts are being made to capture them,” Bhushan claimed.

Earlier, when bills were drafted, they were sent to parliamentary committees and discussed, but now laws are being enacted without discussion by categorizing them as money bills, he said.

The Election Commission was fairly autonomous earlier, but now it is the government which is “deciding the dates of elections,” he alleged.

Just as the government advised people to adopt cashless transactions when it carried out demonetization in 2016, candidates in elections too should be asked to conduct all campaign-related expenditures in the cashless mode, he demanded.

Further, just as the campaign expenses of individual candidates are capped, the expenditure by political parties too should be limited, Bhushan said.

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