Katju rebuts charges, says he has criticised Congress-ruled States too

Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice Markandey Katju on Sunday said Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley should quit politics and take ‘sanyas’ as he was not cut out for politics and was “twisting facts” and “talking nonsense.”

Responding to the sharp attack on him by Mr. Jaitley, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the former judge of the Supreme Court said the criticism directed against him was “totally devoid of facts.”

Mr. Jaitley had criticised Mr. Katju, saying the latter’s choice of subjects and targets were motivated by his political preferences.

‘Twisting facts’

Reacting to this, Mr. Katju said: “Arun Jaitley is talking rubbish and he must take ‘sanyas’ from politics because he is not cut out for it. He is twisting facts. I have criticised Congress-ruled States as well. I sent notices to the Maharashtra government when two girls were arrested for their post on Facebook.”

Talking to The Hindu on Sunday night, Mr. Katju said he had written very strong letters to the Maharashtra Chief Minister when mediapersons were attacked and, similarly sent another strong letter to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister when he had threatened to break the camera of a photojournalist.

“During protests in Delhi on the issue of gang-rape, I criticised the Delhi Police and only recently took up the issue of harassment of senior journalist Iftikhar Gilani. At all these places, there are Congress governments at the helm,” he said.

Retired judges’appointments

Mr. Katju said that under the National Democratic Alliance government when Mr. Jaitley was the Law Minister, dozens of appointments of retired Supreme Court judges were made. “Why he forgets all these appointments as well as of those former judges who were made Governors under the NDA regime?’’ he said.

The PCI chief said he had criticised the Narendra Modi government on two counts in his article — on the anti-Muslim riots of 2002, which cannot be forgiven and forgotten and on the claims of development. He said the test of development was if the standard of living of masses had improved or not. “Still 48 per cent of children in Gujarat are malnourished and 57 per cent of the population is living below poverty line. Is development meant only for business tycoons? Are businessmen only human beings and not anyone else?” he said.

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