Justice Markandey Katju
I had in an earlier post said that I had not heard of any complaint about the financial integrity of Arun Jaitley.
But after the watching the press conference of Kirti Azad this afternoon, and the audio-visuals of Wikileaks4India, I think it would be in the nation’s interest, and perhaps in Jaitley’s own interest, if an independent enquiry is ordered into Kirti Azad’s serious charges by the Prime Minister to be held by a person or persons known for their high integrity ( e.g. Justice Venkatachaliah, former CJI ) nominated by the Chief Justice of India, and Jaitley should resign as a Minister till conclusion of the enquiry.
I am not saying that Jaitley is guilty. I am saying that just as Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion, so also a Minister, particularly one holding such an important Ministry as Finance and Corporate Affairs, should not hold office till he is cleared of such grave charges..
It may be said that none of the charges of Kirti Azad or those in the Wikileaks4India videos directly implicate Jaitley. But the charges relate to the period when he was President of the DDCA. To say that he was not involved in the day to day affairs of DDCA is neither here nor there. As President of DDCA he should have been aware of what is going on under his nose. In any case, all the full facts would be revealed in the enquiry I have suggested, and if Jaitley is cleared in such an enquiry he would emerge with flying colours, and can be reappointed as a Minister..
I also wish to say that politicians should not be associated with sports bodies, particularly cricket, which has become more like a business in India with huge sums of money involved.
The author is a former Supreme Court judge and renowned commentator. Views expressed here are his own.