Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dr Harshvardhan on Tuesday condemned Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti for his spat with Law Secretary AS Yadav, saying Bharti should apologise to the judiciary and to the public
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Harshvardhan said: “It is a serious matter, and the law minister must apologise to the judiciary and the public. The law secretary, who is himself a judge, doesn’t belong to any government. He is a part of the judicial process.
“I think a lawyer has the best knowledge about the internal dynamics of the law ministry. He knows everything, from the judicial process to the discipline of the high court, he knows everything. I think, this is a first instance since Independence, when a minister has tried to establish a communication with the judicial system in such an insulting manner,” he added
Last week, Bharti is learnt to have rebuked Yadav when the latter expressed his inability to convene a meeting of Delhi court judges at the state secretariat
Yadav is said to have told Bharti that the judiciary is independent of the executive, and that as per established administrative norms, only the Delhi High Court has the authority to summon and preside over a meeting of lower court judges
Yadav, a district judge, who is on deputation to the Delhi State Government, tried to reason with Bharti, himself a lawyer with an IIT background, that it was unthinkable for a minister or anyone representing the executive to summon a meeting of judges. He said the Delhi High Court exercises exclusive administrative jurisdiction over judges in the state
Yadav's contention, however, was rejected by Bharti, who accused him of being loyal to the old Congress regime. Bharti also said that Yadav was placing obstacles in the path of the AAP Government's plan to ensure speedy delivery of justice
Meanwhile, Yadav has written a letter to Delhi Chief Justice NV Ramana, apprising him of the development. He also is learnt to have also met Ramana and requested that he be repatriated back to the judiciary
Yadav is reported to have told the Delhi Chief Justice that it had become difficult for him to work with the present administrative set up in Delhi, and therefore, would like to resume the role of a district judge in his parent cadre
Chief Justice Ramana is learnt to have assured Yadav that the Delhi High Court would protect him against any vindictive action by the state executive.