New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said its Judges were not pro-government and pointed to ways it had been hauling up the government on various matters.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud took a dim view of a former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President's remarks in a television interview that some Supreme Court judges were "pro-government".
Referring to the statement, Justice Chandrachud said: "Somebody should come and see in the court how the government is hauled up every day. Judges' comments (in the course of hearings) are reported as judgments. Then, they are commented upon during discussions as if they are judgments."
The court said this as it referred to a Constitution Bench the question about the extent of restraint a person holding a public office, including a Minister, can be put under while commenting on sub judice matters or those under investigation by state agencies.
The bench referred the matter to the Constitution Bench after amicus curiae Fali S. Nariman and Harish Salve said that an increasing number of matters were coming up wherein persons holding high positions in government were making controversial statements on matters pending before courts or being investigated by state agencies.
The entire issue is rooted in a controversial statement by then Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohammad Azam Khan, who had dubbed the Bulandshahr gang-rape case as a political conspiracy.
A woman and her teenaged daughter were gang-raped by five to six men in the fields of Dostpur village on National Highway-91 in Bulandshahr district on the night of July 29 and 30, 2016.