Former Madras High Court judge Justice Jaichandren denies taking up BJP membership


The retired judge clarifies that it was never his intention to become a member of party

Justice M. Jaichandren, a retired judge of the Madras High Court and now chairman of Puducherry Human Rights Committee, on Wednesday denied having become a primary member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a mega membership drive in the presence of Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Chennai on July 6.

In a press communique, he refuted news reports of having taken up BJP membership. “I make it clear, by this statement, that I had never intended to do so in the first place…” the communique read.

When The Hindu contacted him, he explained that the delay of five months in explaining his stand was because he had initially considered it a non-issue. However, with every passing day, every other acquaintance of his began inquiring about his reported affiliation with a political party, he thought he should make his stand clear.

He said he was social and active as a lawyer and lecturer of law before 2005. He was also the office-bearer of the famed Madras Bar Association. “However, I suddenly turned into a cage bird since December 10, 2005 when I was appointed as a judge of the Madras High Court.

“When I retired from service after 12 years of judgeship, which I would call as an exile, I began trying to get back to society and mingle with all. Since I have lawyer friends who are affiliated to different political parties, I began moving freely with all of them and that led to the present confusion, which I want to clarify,” he said.

Further, explaining the circumstances that led to the misunderstanding, the former judge said, he had gone to the BJP’s public meeting at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai on July 6 to meet Mr. Prasad whom he knew in his personal capacity too for a very long time, as the Minister was a senior counsel too.

The intention of the visit was to meet the Minister in private that day and discuss certain legal issues relating to enactment of new laws and issues revolving around welfare of advocates. Unfortunately, there was a delay of more than an hour in the Minister reaching the venue and therefore the BJP lawyers requested him to wait on the stage until Mr. Prasad arrived.

The moment the Minister got up the stage, the public meeting began and there was no time for a private talk. “After he had made his speech, my name was called and I was invited to accept the membership of the party, which was a total surprise for me as that was not the intention of my being at the venue of the meeting,” the communique read.

It went on to read: “I would like to make it clear that I am not a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and that I had never intended to be one. However, if my name has been given the tag of a member, I would request the office bearers of the party concerned to remove the same forthwith.”

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:25:38 PM |

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