Political entry of retired judges kicks up a debate

P. N. Raveendran, a former judge of the Kerala High Court, at the venue of the Vijay Yatra of the BJP.  

The decision of two former judges of the Kerala High Court to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has kicked up a debate with former Gujrat Chief Minister Sankarsinh Vaghela tweeting against it.

“Judiciary become a joke,” tweeted Mr. Vaghela on Monday, in response to the news that P.N. Ravindran and V. Chitambaresh had joined the BJP.

Mr. Ravindran formally enrolled himself as a member of the party at Kochi on Sunday at a public function organised in connection with the Vijay Yatra, a campaign rally taken out by BJP State president K. Surendran. The meeting was attended by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Though Mr Chitambaresh was not present at the function, organisers announced that he too would join the party soon. While Mr. Ravindran, who served as a judge for 11 years, retired from service in 2018, Mr. Chitambaresh demitted office in 2019 after being a judge of the court for eight years.

BJP fellow traveller

Asked about his political entry, Mr. Chitambaresh said he need not join the BJP afresh as he was a BJP man and a party fellow traveller all through his life.

“The very purpose of revealing my political identity is to push for economic reservation and end all caste and community-based reservation system, especially the one prevailing in Kerala,” Mr. Chitambaresh said adding that he was one of the founding vice presidents of the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Janata, the student wing of the BJP.

“Caste-based reservation shall be limited to Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes alone. For others, reservation shall not be extended except on economic basis,” he said.

“A cooling-off period shall be introduced for judges for not accepting assignments or gratis from the government and not for revealing one’s political identity. I had refused to accept several plump posts offered to me,” said Mr. Chitambaresh. He said he had won a college union election as an Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad candidate.

Mr. Ravindran, when contacted, said Mr. Vaghela was entitled to his views on the issue. “I don’t want to do anything that destroys society, constitutional institutions, the judiciary and Parliament,” he responded.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 6:44:57 AM |

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