STATEMENT ON PROPOSED APPOINTMENT OF JUSTICE CYRIAC JOSEPH AND SC SINHA TO NHRC
The government”s efforts to push through the appointments of Justice Cyriac Joseph and former NIA director S.C. Sinha to the NHRC, shows the determination of the government to render this watchdog institution ineffective and also compromise the Independence of the Judiciary and investigative bodies like the NIA. Justice Cyriac Joseph is reported to have an intelligence report against him. Apart from that, he has an ignominious record of hardly writing any judgements during his tenure in the Court. He kept judgments pending for years, including the important judgment on Mulayam Singh”s disproportionate assets, which he did not deliver at all, which suited this government well. Rewarding such non performing judges with such post retirement jobs not only compromises the Independence and effectiveness of the NHRC but also of the judiciary. Similarly, the proposed appointment of the former director of the NIA to the NHRC is in line with this government”s policy of handing plum post retirement jobs to directors of the CBI and other important investigative agencies, which is designed to compromise their Independence.
The government”s attempt to destroy the Independence of the NHRC is clear from their steadfast refusal to even refer 5 serious charges of misconduct including disproportionate assets against the Chairman NHRC, Justice Balakrishnan to the Supreme Court for investigation for 2 years in violation of the NHRC Act and in defiance of the orders of the Supreme Court. This is how they are controlling the NHRC and seek to control the proposed Lokpal as well. That is why the appointment and removal process of members of such watchdog institutions must be made Independent of the government as proposed in the Jan Lokpal bill.
ON ALLEGATION THAT RAJIV GANDHI ACTED AS MIDDLEMEN IN DEFENCE DEALS
It has been reported in The Hindu today that Rajiv Gandhi might have acted as a middle-man in defence deal involving purchase of Viggen fighter aircraft by Swedish company Saab-Scania in the 1970s, much before he became the Prime Minister. This has been revealed in Kissinger-era documents obtained by wiki-leaks.
This is a very serious allegation against a former Prime Minister of the country, and should be thoroughly investigated by an Independent investigative agency. But the question still remains— who would investigate into these allegations? Bofors scam involving another Swedish company led to the downfall of Rajiv Gandhi led Congress government in 1989. But due to lack of independent investigation there has been practically no progress in that case. In this present case also, even if a CBI investigation is ordered, it would just drag on for many years until it is lost in the maze of biased investigation, bureaucracy and judiciary. This is why Aam Aadmi Party has been demanding an independent Lokpal on the lines of Jan Lokpal, which would include Prime Minister under its ambit.
It is however unrealistic to expect this corrupt government to this. The people of the country will give a fitting reply to this government in the next election.