People are questioning Congress “You never influenced judiciary?”, after former Bombay High Court Judge joined Congress party!

Few days ago Justice Abhay Thipsay, a former Judge of Bombay and Allahabad high court, has joined the Congress party after interacting with party president Rahul Gandhi. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan confirmed Thipsay’s induction in the party. The retired judge said he wanted to fight against the communal forces and communalism for which Congress, being the oldest party can provide him a better platform. “After my retirement, I was disturbed with the growing communalism and aggressive nationalism. I can’t do anything alone and was seeking a platform,” he said.

The induction of Judge  Abhay Thipse into Congress has once again raised the question in everyone’s mind regarding the linkage between judiciary and politics.Is it right for the judges to join politics after retirement? Does it harms the public perception of the judiciary as an institution that is supposed to be independent and nonpartisan?

Judge Thipse is the one who is associated with many high profile cases during his tenure .He ruled in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, the Best Bakery massacre case and the Kabir Kala Manch activists’ case, among others. These cases involved matters where either the Bharatiya Janata Party or its supporters were involved, or the state was challenged for violating the democratic and fundamental rights of citizens. In the Best Bakery case, he convicted members of the BJP and various Hindutva groups for participating in the massacre of Muslims during the 2002 Gujarat riots. At that time he even pointed on judiciary and said “Judiciary has failed” while giving justice in Best Bakery case.

He is the one who raised doubts on Justice Loya’s death. He demanded a probe in this case. He has also raised questions about a special CBI court giving clean chits to Amit Shah probed for the extra-judicial killing of a petty criminal from Gujarat, Sohrabuddin Sheikh. He had rejected bail petitions of some accused in this case when he was a judge at the high court. He also said that there is a need for looking again on the case by the high court that let off some of the main accused. In the case, he granted bail to Gujarat police officers DG Vanzara and Narendra Amin while writing in his judgement that he was doing so only because he was bound by Supreme Court rulings and not because he believed in their innocence.

In the Kabir Kala Manch case he acquitted members of a group – comprising Dalit and working class musicians and poets – of charges of Naxalism.

He is also linked with another high profile case  “ Hit and Run” of Bollywood actor Salman Khan. He granted bail to bollywood actor on the same day and also suspended his five-year sentence for which Thipsay had faced flak.Expressing his views once he has also stated the prejudice against the religion of peace exists in Police and Judiciary.

Thipsay’s announcement that he is joining the Congress because he wants to stand up against rising intolerance and rampant violations of the rule of law under the present political regime therefore raises the question Was Thipsay, in his significant judgements, driven by a particular political ideology, and not the principles of law?

Source :   Scroll.In