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Sunday, July 21, 2024

TROUBLE FOR KATJU: Lodha panel puts Katju in Supreme Court dock




[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ustice RM Lodha-headed ex-judges’ committee, on Wednesday (September 28), cited BCCI-appointed Justice Markandey Katju’s ‘contemptuous’ statements before the Supreme Court in a bid to indicate the all-out effort made by the cricket board to undermine the SC judgement.

Justice Katju was appointed by the BCCI as a one-man commission on August 2 to advise the board on its response after the Supreme Court, on July 18, accepted Lodha’s recommendations and asked the panel to supervise its implementation.

“BCCI has repeatedly taken steps to undermine the committee and the Supreme Court, with several statements and actions which are grossly out of order and would even constitute contempt,” the committee said.

Following are extracts from Katju’s report as contained in Lodha panel’s report to the SC: July 18 SC judgement is nothing but an unwarranted attempt by the court at the behest of Lodha Committee at enacting legislation which tramples upon the rights of citizens and associations and seriously impinges on the legislative functions of not only Parliament but respective state assemblies.

Such precedent of the Supreme Court as this case would enable all judges, be it in the SC or the HC to completely disregard statutory enactments and constitutional provisions and pass orders and direction at their whims and fancies completely unsupported by law. Such direction would be flagrantly illegal, null and void ab-initio.

A reading of the above and other recommendations show that the Lodha Committee has run amok in the missionary zeal of a crusader brushing aside all laws and rules to fulfil its holy aim and obtaining holy grail. Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian Knot in its uninhibited and unbridled frenzy, the committee has cast aside all principles of the Constitution, the law and propriety and is conducting a witch hunt.

In my considered opinion, the Lodha committee went clearly overboard in its desire to seek popularity and play to the galleries like Knight in Shining Armour and blazing sword battling demons and monsters to win public acclaim and cheers.

In Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ there was a character called Queen of Hearts. Whenever she sees anybody, she shouts “off with his head”. When someone said what about first issuing a chargesheet, holding a trial and giving a verdict, she replied “all that can come later, first off with his head”. I (Katju) regret to say that the Supreme Court bench as well as the Lodha Committee have behaved like Queen of Hearts.


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