Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday refused to be drawn into the Katju controversy, terming it as a “futile” issue.
“It is a futile issue. Soli Sorabjee (former Attorney General) also spoke on it. I don’t need to comment on it,” he told reporters at an Iftar party hosted by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
He was responding to a question on the controversy triggered by former Supreme Court judge and Chairman of Press Council of India Markandey Katju. Katju had alleged that three ex-Chief Justices of India made “improper compromises” during UPA rule in retaining a judge in Tamil Nadu under corruption cloud.
It was alleged that the Congress had buckled under pressure from its ally, DMK, who insisted on the judge being given an extension. The NDA Government had later stated in Parliament that the PMO during Manmohan Singh’s tenure had asked why the Supreme Court collegium had not recommended extension for the Madras High Court judge who was facing corruption charges after the collegium expressed its hesitation.
The Modi Government has also demanded that the former Prime Minister should make a “categorical” statement on the controversial matter. Asked about the situation in Uttar Pradesh in the wake of the violent clashes between two communities in Saharanpur, Singh said, “the UP situation is worrisome”. On the economic situation, the former Prime Minister said, “We should give the Government more time.”
The Home Ministry had sent a panel of three senior IAS officers to pick from and Negi's name is not in the list.
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