Kejriwal says phones of judges may be tapped, Govt rubbishes
Creating a sensation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday claimed that there is a “widespread fear” about phones of judges being tapped, evoking an immediate and sharp denial by the government at an event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India T S Thakur.
With Modi, Justice Thakur and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in attendance, Kejriwal claimed at a function here that during his meetings with judges he had “overheard them telling each other that they should not talk on phones because they could be tapped”.
He said when he told them the phones of judges cannot be tapped, “they retorted by saying that all phones could be tapped... I don’t know whether it is true or not but there is a widespread fear. If it is true that phones are tapped then judges can be influenced...,”
Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court here, Kejriwal went on to add, “There are many other ways to gather evidence for wrongdoing, otherwise it will be the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary.”
Prasad, who spoke after Kejriwal, said, “I deny with all authority at command the allegations that phones of judges have been tapped.” The Law Minister said right from the Prime Minister to other ministers and the government, all have fought for the independence of judiciary and individual liberty and freedom of media during emergency.
“Independence of judiciary is fundamental, impeachable and uncompromising for the government,” he said. Neither the PM nor the Chief Justice spoke on the issue when they addressed the function after Kejriwal and Prasad. Later, the Home Minister also strongly denied Kejriwal’s allegations as “baseless and unfounded”.