Certain ethical, moral and constitutional questions!
The CVC appointment issue doesn’t die down!
The CVC issue comes alive once again!
The Kerala Chief Minister and his Maharashtra counterpart, V.S.Achuthanandan and Prithviraj Chavan are fighting a proxy battle for the Prime Minister?
Serious questions remain unresolved!
Democracy evolution at a critical stage
Is the Prime Minister being truthful?
What does PM’s acceptance of “full responsibility” mean?
What is parliamentary ethics and norms?
You speak the truth; you take the house into confidence? You enlighten the house. The MPs became enlightened?
Or, on the other hand, you said “full responsibility” and got away without telling the truth? Or, still worse, you didn’t tell the truth at all? You in fact managed to hide the truth, the whole truth?
It is a very sensitive and an agonising issue and as far as we see, the country went away without knowing the whole truth. Indian democracy, to that extent, became weak, both morally and legally, that is as per the “letter and spirit” of the Constitution.
Yes, let us see what is the real issue at stake here. The PM’s panel of three including himself with the Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha and the Home minister being the other two sit to select the suitable candidate as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the highest anti-corruption officer.The list of candidates has three names. One is P.J.Thomas. His biodata doesnt show he was charge-sheeted in a corruption case in his home state, Kerala. The bio data is prepared by PMO where there in a MOS, Prithviraj Chavan, now the Maharashtra Chief Minister.
The name of Thomas was selected and the Leader of the Opposition dissents, saying there is a corruption case pending against him. The PM still didn’t listen and goes to select the charge-sheeted official! The Home minister in charge of intelligence etc endorses the charge-sheeted official. The Leader of Opposition puts her dissenting note and Thomas got appointed. Be Leader of Opposition the next day meets the President of India and represents her objections to the selection of Thomas.
The case comes before the Supreme Court. The PM files an affidavit on the suggestion of the apex court. In the meantime, there was the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference in Hyderabad. There came Constitutional experts, lawyers and higher judicial officers, including the Supreme Court judges from the Commonwealth countries, including the Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Judge, the famed VIP who fought the Pakistani dictators and came back to re-occupy the same position and his speech made a great impression on the Indian judiciary.
At that conference, our Prime Minister made a very critical and controversial suggestion, of” non-negotiable premise of the constitutional scheme”(so the PM knows well beforehand that his controversial selection was rankling in his mind!) That sanctifies the “diffusion of sovereign power”; judiciary should not interfere with the prerogative of executive decisions! So, the PM openly warned the highest court?
Obviously, the appointment of CVC must have weighed on his mind and he must have thought that the Supreme Court proceedings were against his government’s decision to the appointment of the CVC. Anyway, his government stand, as represented by the Advocate General (Vahanvati) was that the suitability of the CVC is an executive decision and the judiciary should not interfere with the decision.
Now, the apex court decided in its final judgment against the particular selection and Thomas’s selection was nullified! This was a big blow to the Prime Minister’s decision!
The PM “accepted full responsibility”. Fine. He said this outside and this he said inside the two houses of parliament. In the Lok Sabha he said this and he sat back in his chair. In the Rajya Sabha he faced the Leader of Opposition, Mr.Arun Jaitely, a competent lawyer himself and he asked for an explanation how he happened to come to select Thomas. The PM didn’t go beyond the acceptance of full responsibility.
The crucial question here is: has the PM told the truth?
This time the PM shifted the blame to his MOS Mr.Chavan who put up the note before the PM panel. Now, the question is: the PM’s acceptance of full responsibility is not an end itself. The PM’s admission of full responsibility, as media commentators pointed out, is full of arrogance, though concealed behind an unsuspect humble demeanour. The PM is an honest person. The PM is corruption free. But is the PM talking the truth? Has he told the House how a charge-sheeted person came to be selected?
Obviously, the matter doesnt end with the PM accepting full responsibility.
He, as per the ethics of governance in a parliamentary democracy he must own up “moral responsibility”. Once he does this he must proceed to come forward and resign his position, right?
This, he didnt choose to do. Nor, has he told the truth to Parliament. This is his grave error. His lack of political savvy. He, on the contrary chose, to with-hold the truth, he also showed a disregard (in fact, utter disregard) for the judicial pronouncement. He withheld from the Indian public the whole truth!
As MPs asked: is there other force or forces that imposed the candidate on the PM’s selection? He didn’t have a choice but go for the tainted candidate?
How can the PMO, the Home minister, with all the apparatus of intelligence, even the confidential records of the IAS officers and others and in this case a due diligence before the note on Thomas was put up before the panel. And even after the Leader of the Opposition brought up this charge sheet specially before the PM and HM, how the PM didn’t react? How the HM didn’t react? What were their reactions? They knew well before and so didn’t react? Or, they knowing well the truth beforehand, the they just smiled and yet go ahead?
To say that the PM accepted full responsibility and then afterwards life will the same as before and he can go back to his old job and everything is over once for all?
No, the conduct of the PM shows he doesnt care for any morality, didnt care for the legality of the judgment or his duty to bow before the verdict and as per the letter and spirit of the Constitution he must have resigned.
The whole burden of this judgement and the conduct of the government afterwards shows an utter disregard for any of the norms, the ethics or the legality of the apex court verdict.
The PM didn’t tell the truth to Parliament. He with-held the truth from the public.
Image Source : news4u.co.in