Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb has made another controversial statement about the judiciary. A video of a speech he gave last Saturday has been shared widely on social media, in which he was seen addressing the Tripura Civil Service (TCS) officers. "I am a tiger, not the court," he said.
While Mr Deb asked state civil service officers to work with a good intention for the people of the state, unlike the previous government that did not care for people, the Chief Minister said he would deal with instances where contempt of court may happen.
"I have been told by many officers that they cannot perform a particular task because doing so will cause contempt of court. Why fear that? The court will give its judgment, but the police will implement that. The police are under my control. Police has several methods and I am witness to that end," said Mr Deb, who also holds the Home portfolio, while addressing the 26th biennial conference of TCS Officers at Rabindra Bhavan on Saturday.
Mr Deb said officers "fear the court like a tiger". "But I am the tiger here. I am at the helm of this government elected by the people. People say 'by the people' government, not 'by the court'. The court is for people, people aren't for the court," Mr Deb said.
His speech that was streamed live on social media platforms, however, has been perceived as one among the long string of controversial comments the Chief Minister is known for.
Giving an example, Mr Deb said that despite repeated caution by the Chief Secretary on the ground of contempt of court, he decided to go for ad hoc promotion of government officials through the cabinet as this issue has been pending for long in the Supreme Court.
"Even the Chief Secretary used to say this cannot happen. But I was firm that it is a cabinet decision and has to happen. How long can I keep them sitting? It is injustice toward those who go for retirement without getting their due promotion. They feared it would be contempt of court as if contempt of court is like a tiger. I am a tiger, the person who runs the government and is the main person in the party in power and have total power," the Chief Minister said.