New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had steered clear of the rift within the Supreme Court through the day, attacked the Congress for wading into the controversy on Friday evening that the ruling party insisted, was essentially an internal matter of the Supreme Court. "None of us should politicise issues of judiciary and this is an advice to Congress party. The people of this country are watching Congress party exposing itself," the BJP said.
- Jointly discuss concerns of 4 judges: Congress to top court
- BJP attacks Congress, says it's "exposing" itself
- Ruling party steers clear of the rift in the top court
The criticism came after the Congress put out a two-page statement that asked the Supreme Court judges to jointly discuss the points flagged by four judges of the top court. The Congress also asked that the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court should hear the petition that sought an inquiry into the death of Judge Brij Gopal Loya in 2014. It also wanted a special team to be set up to probe the death.
When the judge died, he was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case of 2005 in which, BJP president Amit Shah, was also an accused. The court last year discharged top police officers and Mr Shah, who was Gujarat's home minister at the time of the encounter, who were accused in the case.
The four senior judges of the top court had blamed Chief Justice Dipak Misra of "selectively" allocating cases to benches among other things, which they claimed, adversely affected the judiciary and threatened democracy.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who described the points raised by the four judges as "extremely important", said the judge's death needed to be investigated "properly". "It needs to be looked at from the highest level of the Supreme Court," Mr Gandhi told reporters.
The BJP attack came soon after.
"Politics by political parties of the country, outside the judicial purview, trying to drag issues which are internal to the judiciary and politicise that is something which should not be attempted," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
"The Congress party has attempted the same, it has tried its best to politicise internal issues of judiciary. And we firmly believe that this is wrong," he told reporters, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
The BJP was also unsparing in its criticism of the Congress for demanding a probe into the judge's death when a petition dealing with the same point was pending before the Supreme Court. Nobody has the right to comment on issues that are pending before the Supreme Court. "I think Congress should know that," Mr Patra said.