New Delhi: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday completely rejected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's claims that there were allegations that phones of judges were being tapped.
Reacting to Kejriwal's assertion, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said, “I deny with all authority at command the allegations that phones of judges have been tapped.”
Prasad's reaction comes after the Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said, reports of phone tapping of judges are doing rounds, and if this is true, it is the biggest assault on judiciary.
Kejriwal made the startling statement while addressing the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Delhi High Court here.
"There are many other ways to gather evidence for wrongdoing, otherwise it will be the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary," Kejriwal said.
"There are opportunities when you get to talk to judges, and during one of those, I heard two judges telling each other not to talk over phone because the phones are being tapped. When I said that this cannot happen, they said from the Supreme Court to the High Court and District Courts, all of the judges' phones are being tapped," said Kejriwal.
"I don't know if this is true, but if it is true, then this very dangerous. In such a scenario all the judges can be influenced. Even if a judge has indulged in any wrong doing, even that doesn't justify phone tapping. Other means can be used to gather evidence against them," said Kejriwal, leading to loud murmurs among the audience.
Prasad, who spoke after Kejriwal, said, "I deny with all authority at command the allegations that phones of judges have been tapped."
He said right from the prime minister to other ministers and the government, all have fought for the independence of judiciary and individual liberty and freedom of media during emergency.
"Independence of judiciary is fundamental, impeachable and uncompromising for the government," he said.
Kejriwal also referred to the actions of judiciary as well as the executives which may take away the rights of the people.
"If any action of the executive snatches the power of the people, if any judicial interpretation of the Constitution takes away power of the people then it is not good for democracy," he said.
The Delhi HC's anniversary celebrations were attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur among others.