Jaitley says Katju 'more Congress than Congress', demands resignation
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"Retired judges must remember that the rental for occupying a Lutyen's bungalow post retirement has to be political neutrality not political participation," he said.
The PCI Chairman has always been a retired judge of the Supreme Court, Jaitley said adding that he deals with issues relating to the freedom of press, possible encroachment of the said freedom and also hears complaints relating to lack of professionalism in media reporting and comment.
"The Chairman of the Press Council discharges a statutory job. His job requires fairness, impartiality and political neutrality. Additionally a Judge, whether sitting or retired, is expected to conduct himself with sobriety, dignity and grace. He cannot be loud, crude, outlandish or behave like a megalomaniac," the BJP leader said.
Jaitley said it was a fundamental principle that in the conduct of judicial or quasi-judicial functions a Judge should refrain from involving themselves in political controversies.
"If he desires to get into a political activity or a political debate, he should cease to hold his judicial or quasi-judicial office. In any case his views are liable for the same level of scrutiny and comment as is applicable to politicians," he said.
Reacting to Jailtey's remarks on post-retirement assignments for retired judges, Katju said the post of the Chairman of the Press Council has by convention been given to a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
"There are many judges who have been given post-retirement posts," he said, adding that Justice J S Verma, Justice Swatantra Kumar and Justice D K Jain had been appointed as chairmen of the National Human Rights Commission, National Green Tribunal and the Law Commission respectively.
"Why does Mr Jaitley forget the post-retirement appointments given by the NDA when he was the Law Minister?" Katju said.
He claimed at least two judges were transferred from their parent high courts to the Rajasthan High Court "for reasons well known to Mr Jaitley and about which I do not wish to comment".
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