Controversy 101: Salman Khurshid on Supreme Court, Election Commission
NEW DELHI : Foreign minister Salman Khurshid has invited a new controversy with his remarks abroad criticizing the Supreme Court and the Election Commission.“The courts are now deciding who can go to Parliament and who can’t. That’s not right, this is not law,” Mr Khurshid said on Wednesday at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
“The critical thing about judges deciding in India, which is different from your system, is we have 31 judges in the Supreme Court and 543 parliamentarians. But they never sit in benches which have more than two or three judges…Two of 31 decide what should happen. Two can actually say something about parliamentarians being tried or not, whether they can contest or not, what kind of affidavit…”
The minister went on to share caustic views on the Election Commission, while conceding that the three-member panel did clean up the Indian elections.“But they are again only three of them…Three of them can decide what word you can use in an election campaign. As I understand the broad philosophical approach is ‘you should do and say nothing that wins you an election’, you should try your best to lose elections,” Mr Khurshid joked, adding, “For five years we try to lose elections but give us 15 days to try and win them please.”
Last month, the Congress leader had earned Rahul Gandhi’s disapproval for describing Narendra Modi as ‘impotent’ over his handling of the 2002 Gujarat riots.In election season, Mr Khurshid’s latest comments have provoked many reactions.“You are losing, and out of frustration you are giving such statements that end up degrading you more,” said the BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
“Deplorable and unfortunate”, remarked Aam Aadmi Party’s Rahul Mehra.Retired judge R S Sodhi disapproved of Mr Khurshid’s criticism of the country’s top court.“I would never wrong Supreme Court’s judgment. He has been law minister himself for quite some time. They need to introspect themselves before pointing out the mistakes of others,” said Justice Sodhi.