Arun Jaitley calls for apolitical judiciary

     Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday took a swipe at some judges, and accused them of harboring political ambitions rather than ensuring fair judicial practice. Speaking at the national lawyers' conference here, the former Union Law Minister said, “There are two kinds of judges: those who know the law, and those who know the law minister. In that time (the Emergency), this fault was seen within the judiciary. We must not make this mistake in today's time, and this is not a subject related to a particular party.” He added that it was important that the judiciary distance itself from the electoral circumstances of the day.

“The tendency of judges to follow the ballot box, to get carried with the times, has to be avoided. The judiciary is the lifeline of a democracy, and if people lose faith in it, they lose faith in democracy itself,” Jaitley said. India’s courts are seen as crucial checks and balances in a country increasingly weighed down by corruption in discredited institutions, which by some estimates knocks 1-2 percent off GDP growth. The apex court in particular, has managed to keep momentum into probes when there were signs the government was dragging its heels. This has helped keep issues alive for media and voters, as well as bolster opposition protests.

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