M I Shanavas, Congress, Lok Sabha, speaks to Liz Mathew
You raised an objection in the judiciary vs legislature debate.
My objection was on a three-member committee of Supreme Court judges arbitrarily recommending a raise in their salary and pension. The SC has taken up their case suo motu… When cases concerning MPs come before them, they insult the MPs and tarnish their image.
You also mentioned the media tarnishing the image of MPs…
Whenever there is talk of a salary hike, the media too tarnishes MPs’ image, against facts. A US senator gets, apart from allowances, Rs 1.64 crore per year, a UK MP 50 lakh whereas an Indian MP gets a meagre Rs 6 lakh.
You wanted the government to intervene. How can it stop the media and the judiciary?
When these issues come up, the government should come out with facts to show that MPs in India are among the least paid in the world. The law minister was wondering why the judiciary does not trust the PM in their appointments. It’s a different matter. Personally, I am for freedom of the judiciary. However, the judiciary cannot transgress the rights of MPs or Parliament and pose as the only apostles in the country. But their freedom is the need of the hour when Narendra Modi is ruling the country and their freedom cannot be curtailed.
Do you feel there is judicial activism?
An administration of terror is ruling the country. The judiciary has a responsibility to check it. Unfortunately, they are are going for headlines. Their seriousness gets affected… The judiciary should not go for headline grabbing. They have a serious role to play when a fear psychosis is created by Modi and his bunch of CMs.