Congress slams Jaitley's 'acrimonious' attack over NJAC quashing

Taking on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his criticism of the Supreme Court order striking down the NJAC Act, Congress on Sunday said he should not forget that imperiousness of numbers often converts elected governments into "unabashed autocrats".

New Delhi: Taking on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his criticism of the Supreme Court order striking down the NJAC Act, Congress on Sunday said he should not forget that imperiousness of numbers often converts elected governments into "unabashed autocrats".

In a statement released here, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also targeted the Centre saying Jaitley's comments criticising the order on NJAC reflects "intolerance" of Narendra Modi government with autonomy of institutions.

"Acrimonious attack on Supreme Court by Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley (through a blog) is a travesty of constitutional sovereignty," Surjewala said.

He added that arrogance of constitutional acumen undermines its fundamental ethos, 'Justice above tyranny' ? whether of individual or majority, even legislative majority.

"From calling in question the 'constitutional sanctity' of Rajya Sabha, virtually directing a constitutional functionary like CAG 'to not sensationalise its findings', describing protest by authors/free thinkers as 'manufactured' and 'paper rebellion' to describing Supreme Court of India as 'tyranny of the unelected' today, Arun Jaitley's contemptuous bluster against Supreme Court of India reflects intolerance of Modi government with autonomy of institutions," Surjewala said.

He added that Jaitley must not forget that "imperiousness of numbers often converts elected governments into unabashed autocrats with unchecked immunity from reason, justice or conscience."

Earlier, in unusually strong remarks over the SC's reasoning for striking down the NJAC Act, Jaitley said Indian democracy cannot be a "tyranny of the unelected" and to strengthen independence of judiciary, one does not have to weaken Parliamentary sovereignty.

Terming as "erroneous logic" reasons given by a five-judge Constitution bench which declared as unconstitutional the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 and also the 99th Constitution Amendment, Jaitley warned that democracy would be in danger if the "elected are undermined".

"The Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected and if the elected are undermined, democracy itself would be in danger," he said in a Facebook post titled 'The NJAC Judgement ? An Alternative View?', which he termed as "personal views".

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