New Delhi, Oct 5: The Supreme Court today said that its Judges were not pro-government and pointed to ways it had been hauling up the centre every day on various matters.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sated this while discussing a former Supreme Court Bar Association President’s statement in a television interview that some Supreme Court Judges were “pro-government”.
While referring to the former president of the SCBA’s remark, Justice Chandrachud said “Somebody should come and see in the court how the government is hauled up every day. Judges’ comments (in the course of hearings) are reported as judgments. Then, they are commented upon during discussions as if they are judgments”, news agency IANS reported.
The apex court said this as it referred to a Constitution Bench the question about the extent of restraint a person holding a public office, including a Minister or any top position, can be put under while commenting on sub judice matters or those under investigation by state agencies.
The core issue under court scrutiny is whether the fundamental right conferred under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution is to be controlled singularly by restrictions placed by Article 19(2), or whether Article 21 too would have an impact on it.
The bench referred the matter to the Constitution Bench after amicus curiae Fali S. Nariman and Harish Salve submitted seven questions for the consideration by the Constitution Bench.
Not only this, it also said the Constitution Bench could add any other question it deems appropriate or even modify the seven questions submitted for its consideration.
Justice Nariman and Salve asserted that a number of matters were coming up wherein persons holding top positions in government were making controversial statements on matters pending before courts or being under state agencies scanner.