Netherlands PM Mark Rutte arrives in India for two-day official visit

New Delhi: Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Netherlands Mark Rutte has arrived in India for a two-day official visit. Rutte is scheduled to meet a Business Delegation at Hotel Taj Diplomatic and then participate in the Clean Ganga Event at Hotel ITC Maurya.

Prime Minister Narendra Nodi will meet with Mark Rutte at Hyderabad House at about 12:00 pm. Rutte will also attend a CEO roundtable conference at the Hyderabad House. He will then sign press statements at the venue at about 02:30 pm. Mark Rutte, will next address a public event organised by Carnegie India at Hotel Taj Diplomatic and also participate in Clean Air India, a startup event.

Lastly, he will participate in an agro event, before proceeding to Bengaluru. Rutte is scheduled to meet Governor of Karnataka, Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala. He is also scheduled to visit Shell Technology Centre and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru. Around 10 in the night on May 25, he will leave for Nethe

Clashes in Gujarat town over Dalit man adding ‘Sinh’ to name

Ahmedabad: Angered by a Dalit man’s decision to add the suffix ‘Sinh’ to his name, a group of Rajputs clashed with Dalits in Dholka town here last evening, the police said. Two FIRs had been lodged, with both sides blaming the other for the violence, the police added.

Maulik Jadhav had recently announced on Facebook that he had added ‘Sinh’ to his name and he would now be known as Mauliksinh Jadav. Jadav alleged in his complaint to the police that a Rajput man, whom he identified as Sahdevsinh Vaghela, along with five others, thrashed him and ransacked his house yesterday for adding ‘Sinh’ to his name, police inspector L B Tavdi said.

Jadav told reporters he took this decision to protest an attack on a Dalit man in Banaskantha district after he too had added the suffix ‘Sinh’ to his name. “This angered the Rajput members, who had been threatening me for some time on the issue,” Jadav added. The police said a counter complaint was lodged by a member of the Rajput community.

Dhirajba Mahipatsinh Vaghela alleged a mob of Dalits ransacked his house and looted valuables last night, Tavdi said. Sahdevsinh Vaghela and others have been booked under various sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. No arrests have been made in the two cases yet. ‘Sinh’ is a suffix usually used by men of the Rajput community.

Karnataka poll may be a trailer for 2019

In spite of pulling out all the stops in its bid to score a decisive victory over the Congress, last Tuesday turned out to be a day of hits and misses for the BJP. Just as the party was celebrating its surge in the Karnataka assembly election – when it seemed all lost for the Congress and JD(S) – its numbers fell below the half-way mark and didn’t recover in later part of the day. Though it emerged as the single largest party finally, a comprehensive victory eluded the BJP. Short of a majority, the BJP relied on a ‘helpful’ governor to form a government. Had it accepted defeat with grace by not staking its claim for government formation, the BJP would have scored a moral high. Instead, in a desperate pursuit of power, it made a spectacle of its defeat and wasted a ‘moral victory’.

The BJP was eight seats short of majority. It did not have the people’s mandate, nor the numbers to prove its majority, unless it tried to attempt a repeat of ‘Operation Lotus’ of 2008 when it had turned its minority into majority by ‘buying’ out opposition MLAs. In staking its claim to form a government, the BJP brazenly displayed its hunger for power once again after similar successful attempts last year in Goa and Manipur where post-poll coalitions organised by the BJP were sworn in by the respective governors, though the Congress was the single largest party in both the hung assemblies. The Congress’ decision to mount a legal challenge to the governor’s decision was the crucial turning point because it led to the Supreme Court (SC) giving just two days to the BJP to prove its majority. Once trust vote was ordered on Saturday, it became quite clear that the BJP was staring at defeat. Before going for the trust vote, chief minister Yeddyurappa resigned.

While the BJP’s ‘moral victory’ ended in an embarrassment for the party, the Congress turned its defeat into a ‘moral victory’. Though the Congress suffered a 44-seat loss in the bitterly fought election, it increased its vote share by more than a percentage point over 2013 when it had won the majority. That’s an achievement for the Congress, despite losing more than one third of its seats in a state where incumbents have not been re-elected to power over the last three decades. In comparison, though the BJP won 26 seats more than the Congress, its vote share at 36.2 per cent was nearly two percent points lower than 38 per cent of the Congress. However, as compared to 2013, BJP has managed to increase its vote share by 4.8 per cent, a decent gain for the party.

The increase in vote share of the Congress and BJP is largely because of the decrease in vote share of the JD(S) from 20.2 per cent to 18.4 per cent as well as that of the smaller parties and independents.  Thus, the vote shares of the two parties tell a different story than the number of seats the two parties have won, though more than the vote share, seats won by major parties matter more in determining the political outcome of an election. The message from the fractured verdict in Karnataka is pretty simple: nobody won; the people of Karnataka did not give majority to any party to form government.  Therefore, the vote was neither for a BJP government, nor a Congress government but a post-poll coalition government.

When a party is eight seats short of majority, by no stretch of imagination can it be called as ‘an unparalleled and unprecedented’ win for the BJP, as Prime Minister Modi claimed, because it had won 110 seats in 2008. Moreover, the Congress actually improved its vote share by 1.4 per cent, despite losing 44 seats. Individually, the Congress and JD(S) don’t have the numbers to stake claim for government formation, but collectively as a post-poll alliance they have 117 seats to stake claim for government formation. The governor ignored this simple arithmetic for political and ideological reasons. It did not stand the test of judicial scrutiny and BJP paid a price for its inability to do simple numerical calculation.

While the BJP has been compelled to accept its defeat, the fact remains that its seat tally is nowhere the kind of resounding victory that the party was looking for to reopen its account in southern India. Neither is it a comprehensive defeat for the Congress that will send the party into morass. So, what’s the wider implication of the Karnataka election? The split verdict implies that may be 2019 is a fairly open contest that will be as difficult for the BJP as it will be for the Congress and other opposition parties. The fact that the Congress was absolutely quick in forming a post-poll alliance with the JD(S) and even offering the CM’s post to the party with half its numbers shows that the Congress is ready to do business with ‘compatible’ parties to stop BJP’s juggernaut.

As the focus will now shift to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections where it will be one-on-one Congress versus BJP fight, the outcome of these elections will have a bearing on pre-poll alliances in the opposition camp for 2019 Lok Sabha poll. Whether the Congress will play a dominant role in the coalition or become a junior partner in it will depend on how the Congress versus BJP fight pans out in the run up to 2019. The larger message from Karnataka is: the opposition has no option but to unite.

The prime minister virtually put in all his might into Karnataka election with 21 rallies in about a week and campaigned with the same intensity as he did in Gujarat and UP earlier. But BJP ended with only 104 seats against 135 assembly leads in 2014 Lok Sabha poll. The decrease in vote share from 43 per cent to 36 per cent is an indication of Modi’s receding popularity. This will impact BJP’s vote share as well as its overall parliamentary seats. The broader takeaway from Karnataka is that the diminution of Congress may be more or less over and its vote share will increase in most of the western and northern states. It may even gain in the south as well. Therefore, Karnataka election may turn out to be a teaser of the political soap opera leading up to the 2019 election.

A L I Chougule is an independent senior journalist. — By A L I Chougule 

Karnataka Elections 2018: Unholy alliance needs a dip in holy Ganges

Winning the trust vote naturally involved dodgy moves. Yet, as Indira Gandhi often demonstrated, the electorate always nurtures a grudging respect for those who can beat the odds, ethics being no bar in war. If the battle, for the BJP, was all about defeating the Congress — and, by implication, the Old Establishment that is putting up a spirited resistance to Modi’s dominance of Indian politics — the challenge was always worth accepting.

Last Saturday, in a terrible anti-climax, the BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa opted out of the floor test and in effect handed over the mantle of chief ministership to the leader of the third party in the Karnataka Assembly. Yeddyurappa may well live to fight another day but, for the moment, H D Kumaraswamy is the new Chief Minister of Karnataka, courtesy the Congress. In normal circumstances, this post-election battle of numbers would have been viewed as yet another disagreeable muddle, the likes of which India has experienced on innumerable occasions. It would have been interesting but hardly worth the carpet bombing coverage the country has witnessed on the news channels.

The difference was on two counts. First, the Karnataka battle was transformed into a facet of national politics. There was a positioning game underway for the 2019 general election. The BJP was intent on demonstrating that its march through the whole of India is unstoppable. Having established a firm foothold in Assam and the rest of North-east India, an area where the saffron flag was a novelty in the past, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah army was now intent on establishing its hold in southern India, Karnataka being the gateway.

The Opposition, on the other hand, was anxious on two counts. First, the post-election combination of the third party and the second party is a possible template for what they hope will happen after 2019 — a grand combination of all anti-BJP forces, united by a common concern for secularism. Secondly, for the beleaguered Congress, the loss of Karnataka was too major a blow to countenance. Rather than risk being reduced to what Modi mocked as Punjab-Puducherry-Parivar and being resource-starved for 2019, the Congress would rather get a toehold at any cost, even if it involved participating in — what may turn out to be — an ATM government.

Now that the BJP failed to muster the numbers, there are bound to be questions raised. Should the party have staked a claim to form the government, knowing fully well that the other side had more MLAs? Should it not have taken the high moral ground and opted to sit in opposition, knowing fully well that the inverted pyramid model of government formation tends to be woefully short-lived? On the other hand, why concede the battle to the enemy without at least a fight?

These questions are not unique. In 1996, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as leader of the single largest party, was invited by the President to form a government. He accepted, despite knowing that he lacked the numbers. For a few days the BJP tried — rather amateurishly, I may add — to persuade other non-Congress parties to support Vajpayee. When it was clear it was a hopeless project, the party extracted full mileage through a dramatic resignation speech of Vajpayee, a speech that elevated his stature and was a factor in the BJP coming to power in 1998.

It is doubtful that Yeddyurappa’s speech had the same effect as Vajpayee’s oratory. He will no doubt be seen as a martyr by his core Lingayat controversy. But overall, the projection will be that Modi and Shah were thwarted by a determined ‘secular’ opposition. The BJP’s defeat will become an occasion for ‘secular’ triumphalism, just as his victory would have generated the same elation among the Modi supporters.

How last Saturday’s outcome of the confidence vote will influence political thinking in Karnataka in the next year will depend on two factors. First, how the new government will be able to cope with a fragile majority will set the tone. Secondly, much will depend on whether the BJP’s argument that it sought to abide by the spirit of the Assembly election mandate is more persuasive than the claim that the BJP has to be stopped from winning another state at all cost.

From the BJP’s perspective which option — being in government or opposition —was preferable? There are no clear cut answers. Winning the trust vote naturally involved dodgy moves. Yet, as Indira Gandhi often demonstrated, the electorate always nurtures a grudging respect for those who can beat the odds, ethics being no bar in war. If the battle, for the BJP, was all about defeating the Congress — and, by implication, the Old Establishment that is putting up a spirited resistance to Modi’s dominance of Indian politics — the challenge was always worth accepting. The real issue is how the BJP can put the Congress in the doghouse. That is where political communication becomes all-important. In the event the JD(S)-led government is established clumsily, the BJP will have to go to town with the message that the Congress is brazen, shameless and insatiably power hungry; that it has learnt absolutely nothing from the electoral drubbing it received; and that it is shameless enough to re-appoint former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as Legislature Party leader. Just as much as the BJP needs to show how the spirit of the mandate for change was violated, it will have to direct its artillery fire against the Congress. The importance of the Congress lies not merely in its brand name but the fact that the party is still the rallying point for a very powerful section of the Old Establishment that wants Modi out as soon as possible. Weaken the Congress and the rest is a relative pushover.

There is little opprobrium likely to be attached to Kumaraswamy for settling for the best bargain. The JD(S) set about to win the day despite coming third and it has done so. There is little point targeting him, just as there was little point assaulting Madhu Koda, the one-man brigade who ended up as Chief Minister. The guilty party, as always, was the Congress. The Karnataka experience shows that nothing has changed. Power is the glue that keeps the Congress alive. Take it away and, hopefully, the Ganga and Cauvery will be cleaned.

Swapan Dasgupta is a senior journalist and Member of Parliament, being a presidential nominee to the Rajya Sabha.

UP: Woman arrested for trying to frame man in false gang-rape case

Muzaffarnagar: A 26-year-old woman and two of her accomplices were arrested here for falsely implicating a man in a gang rape case, a police official said today.

The woman had lodged a complaint on May 7 at the Chapar police station against one Ravinder Kumar, they said. During an investigation, it was found that the woman had received Rs 40,000 for lodging the complaint, Superintendent of Police, City, Ombir Singh said.

She along with two others were arrested yesterday for lodging the fake gang-rape case, he said, adding that one of the accused was at large. The woman had claimed that Kumar along with his friends had raped her on the pretext of giving her a job, the officer said.

Trump makes other politicians look good

If you haven’t yet softened somewhat on Indian politicians after seeing the daily antics of the miserable fool that the US President Donald Trump is, please do. For, we haven’t had such a moron as our leader in a long time. Thanks to the orange-haired buffoon who has come to tenant the White House at least for four years, our Lalu Yadavs and Rahul Gandhis look like geniuses. We do not think any other politician here in Indian or in any other democracy who self-incriminates himself habitually as easily as does Trump.

And don’t think any other head of government has shuffled his cabinet so many times in such a short period as has Trump. And do not think any other US President had packed his cabinet so brazenly with his cronies and courtiers as has Trump. His last Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was caught live on microphone calling his boss a ‘fu….g moron.’ After his summary dismissal while he was sitting on a toilet seat, he confirmed that indeed that is what he thought of him and that is how he had described him. A number of ranking Republican writers and columnists are so disgusted with the daily tomfoolery of the President that they have disassociated themselves from the party.

The latest storm that has hit the Trump presidency — and there have been countless since the day he was elected — concerned the porn star, Stormy Daniels. After denying for months that he had anything to do with the payment of $ 1,30,000 as hush money to ensure her silence ahead of the 2016 poll, Trump finally let it be known that indeed his lawyer had made the payment on his behalf. He was earlier quoted denying most vehemently a one-night stand within days of his third wife, Mellania, giving birth to their son. After raids on the offices and homes of his lawyer by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in which they seized computers and files, Trump had his latest lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, a former mayor of New York, disclose on his favourite television channel that Trump had reimbursed the lawyer the $ 1,30,000 paid to silence the porn star. There are other women lurking in the wings, revealing their flings with The Donald.

One of them has sued him for defamation in a New York court for denying the affair when she claims to have the evidence to prove the President wrong. But his personal peccadilloes pale into insignificance before the rank amateur way with which he conducts the affairs of the most powerful country in the world. He might appeal to his base going after China for its $375 billion surplus in trade with the US, or might endear himself to the working class trying to levy additional duties on the import of steel and aluminum but his wholly immature way of conducting business and his tendency to boast and take credit for things he might not be remotely connected with, give no reason to ordinary Americans to be proud of their President or of their fellow countrymen who put someone as unsavoury as a bumptious real estate wheeler-dealer into the White House.

A democratic system may not be perfect but the election of Trump to the most powerful post on the planet must be a continuing cause of concern. Maybe the American and other democracies need filters to vet the raw will of the people as expressed through the ballot box.

Towards a global fundamental rebalancing act

The first direct train from China to England reached London recently. It traveled 12,000 kilometers carrying a cargo of garments and other manufactured goods. This is the trailer of the times to come. China is aggressively pushing the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to establish state of art road and rail transport facilities from China to Europe and Africa. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor from China to Pakistan through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of this larger initiative.

The BRI will pass through 65 countries. Chinese State-owned Banks are borrowing money from global investors and using this borrowed money to give loans to the participating countries pass. These countries are, in turn, giving contracts to Chinese companies to construct the BRI. Thus, global money, which is often controlled by the United States, is financing the BRI. European partners of the BRI have complained that their companies are being deprived of their fair share of the construction works.

However, China’s approach is similar to that followed by many western donors. The US Government, for example, may give aid for installing computers in Indian schools. The computers are then purchased from American manufacturers. In this way, aid money was often recycled to the donors’ economy. China has adopted the same strategy. It is giving loan to the BRI countries only to have the money recycled to its own companies.

The BRI will make it cheaper to transport goods from China to Europe. That will reduce the cost of Chinese goods in comparison to those supplied by American Multi-National Corporations (MNCs). Truly, this will promote global trade and improve welfare of the European people. However, in the process, Europe will slip out of the dominance of American MNCs. Say, an American MNC is presently manufacturing an electrical equipment in France.

At present, the Chinese equipment of the same quality is more expensive. The BRI will reduce the cost of reaching the Chinese equipment to France. The French user will then buy from China rather than America. It is for this reason that the United States is opposing the BRI.

No wonder, some commentators have said that the BRI will be the next version of the WTO. The China-dominated umbrella system managing the BRI will have greater clout than the WTO in determining the trade between Europe, Africa and Asia. The BRI, therefore, hides a contest between China and the United States for global economic supremacy. BRI will strengthen China’s position in the global economy and correspondingly loosen the grip of the United States.

India has aligned itself with the United States in opposing the BRI. The issue raised by India is that the Pakistan stretch of the BRI passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). India’s demand is justified. But, let us say, the Pakistan part of the BRI is abandoned under India’s pressure. Will it really improve India’s global economic position? The main objective of the BRI is to establish Chinese supremacy in the European markets. That BRI will not be affected by killing the PoK stretch.

Moreover, it is highly unlikely that India will be able to actually stall the Pakistan stretch of the BRI. China is not seeking funds from multilateral agencies like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or an arm of the United Nations where the United States could have stalled the project.

China is borrowing from private global investors and is entering into bilateral agreements with the 65 participating countries. The United States and India are bystanders in the game. They have very little leeway in stalling the project. They can pass resolutions in the United Nations condemning the violation of India’s sovereignty and the environmental impacts of the BRI but that is all that they can do. No more.

Now the question is whether China’s supremacy in the European markets is good or bad for us? We must view the question in the backdrop of the larger global economy. The developed countries which include the United States, Europe and Japan, have about 25 percent of the world population but enjoy 75 percent of the world income. The developing countries which include China and India, have about 75 percent of the world population but enjoy only 25 percent of the world income. Therefore, strengthening of China versus the United States is fundamentally a global rebalancing act. It will strengthen the developing countries against the developed countries.

India has a choice to make. It can either align with the United States and strengthen and perpetuate the United States’ disproportionate share of the world income. Alternatively, it can work out some arrangement with China and seek rebalancing of the global economy in favour of the developing countries. I think the latter is the way to go.

There are three steps that India must consider. The BRI will reduce the cost of manufactured goods. The global income, however, is being increasingly spent in the purchase of services such as computer games and space travel. India’s strength lies in this services sector.

India can beat China by launching a Global Services Pathway which increases the reach of Indian services into the global markets. For example, India can make a new internet pathways. It can develop an International Tourism Protection Force to increase the flow of tourists to India. The gains to China from the BRI will pale into insignificance in the face of India’s clout in the supply of services.

The second step could be that India can demand the China pressurises Pakistan to provide India with a corridor from Kashmir to Afghanistan through the PoK as a condition for extending her support to the BRI on international platforms. That will open a land route for India’s exports to China just as it will open for China’s exports. Indian manufacturing companies will be able to reduce the cost of their goods in Europe. In fact, India could join the BRI through Tibet and steer away from the contentious issue of PoK.

The third step is to intervene in the New Development Bank. India and China are the major partners here. India’s representative K V Kamath is the head of the Bank. Reportedly, the New Development Bank is providing loans for the BRI. The least India can do is not to be a partner and indirectly support the BRI.

Bharat Jhunjhunwala is a former professor of Economics at IIM Bengaluru.

Irrational criticism over corporate house taking care of Red Fort

That’s the problem with us Indians. We are ready to criticise without having an alternative course to suggest. The arm-chair critics who have pounced on the decision to allow a corporate house to take care of the historic Red Fort for five years under strict conditions do not seem to know what they are talking about. For 70 years, this 17th century heritage site was  in neglect, its walls and ceilings and floors in terrible state. The babus are not good at these things; they couldn’t care less. Not unlike other historic monuments, the Red Fort was vandalised, with the ubiquitous so-and-so-loves so-and-so etched in several places.

The only time the Red Fort came into public consciousness was on the Independence Day. Now, if a corporate house is being given the charge for its maintenance for a limited period without being allowed to tinker with the original structures why  should it evoke so much vitriol  is beyond comprehension. A good example is another Delhi monument, the Humayun’s tomb, which ever since the Aga Khan Trust undertook its upkeep under the  supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India has regained its old personality and elan. At another level, would the critics like to go back to the time when the babus used to run the Mumbai, Delhi and other airports? Public-private partnership strictly monitored can be good for everyone. So, relax. Nothing is going to happen to the historic Red Fort.

Goa Board 12th HSSC Result 2018: GBSHSE declares 12th results, check at

he Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (GBSHSE) has released the results of Higher School Secondary Certificate (HSSC) or Class 12 examination today by 10 am. The students who appeared for Class 12 examination can check the results on GBSHSE’s official website,

The examination was held across 16 centres, and was conducted from March 5 to March 28.  Passing certificates and statement of marks will be provided on April 30, 2018. Around 17,000 students appeared for the exams.

How to check GBSHSE class 12 results 2018, Goa Board HSSC results:

Log on to the official website or
Click on the link which says ‘result’.
Click on Class 12 result link.
Insert your roll number.
Take a printout of the result for future reference.
Here are step-by-step instructions to get your Goa Board HSSC Results 2018 via SMS:

GOA12<space>SEAT NUMBER – Send it to 56263

GOA12<space>SEAT NUMBER – Send it to 58888

GOA12<space>SEAT NUMBER – Send it to 5676750

GB12<space>SEAT NUMBER – Send it to 54242

Impeachment motion against CJI: Congress self-goal

The rejection of the impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by the Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu, on Monday, was expected. For, the charges lack substance. These were based on mere innuendoes and doubts, not on facts. The movers’ pique and anger against the CJI for not ensuring a favourable order in the Judge Loya death case was behind the petty and revengeful move. None of the charges was serious enough to meet the strict criterion  prescribed in Article 124 of the Constitution.

Proven incapacity or misbehavior is required for the impeachment of a judge of the High Court or the Supreme Court. The notice of an impeachment motion given by the seven Opposition parties contains five specific charges, none remotely suggesting either incapacity or misbehavior. The move was totally political, as leading legal luminaries, including Fali Nariman, Soli Sorabjee and Upendra Baxi, have reiterated publicly. All three have lamented the fact that the provision of the impeachment was being abused for wholly partisan ends. This was deplorable. Naidu in his detailed order rejecting the motion has spelt out the reasons why he did so. One of the more ridiculous objections raised by the Congress lawyers was that he had done so in a hurry.

Maybe because not being a practicing lawyer, Naidu has no financial stake in prolonging the matter from date to date! Levity aside, it was very sensible of him to seek to puncture this façade of lies and half-truths, which otherwise, would have hung like the sword of Damocles’ over the CJI’s head, impairing his capacity to perform his designated administrative and judicial functions. Maybe this is precisely what the movers wanted since the well-being of the institution of judiciary comes second to them, way after the need to bolster their political interests. Having woefully failed in their bid to drag the BJP President Amit Shah in the death by natural causes of Judge Loya, who, incidentally, was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in which Shah is an accused, the eager-beaver lawyer-members of the Congress Party were now  bent on abusing the impeachment provision to save face.

Notwithstanding the name-calling among the political parties on the issue of impeachment, it will be profitable for the fence-sitters to pay heed to what the apolitical veteran jurists have had to say in the matter. Not one in the entire galaxy of jurists and legal pundits has approved the impeachment move. Hearsay, trumped up charges, personal grievances of the four senior-most judges, as against the implied opposition of the 21 other judges, who too constitute the apex court, cannot be allowed to undermine the image of the higher judiciary. It is rather rich for the Congress Party to justify the impeachment move on the ground that it was meant to ‘rescue the judiciary’. For a party, which had systematically fiddled with the higher judiciary, packing it with courtiers and carpet-baggers, to make such a claim was nothing short of a joke. Instances galore of its abuse of the executive power to pack the court with its own doormats, an important reason why the apex court assumed primacy in the matter of appointments through  the collegium system.

Meanwhile, refusing to cut its losses and to leave the matter of impeachment well alone, Kapil Sibal and Co — he of the zero loss in the 2-G scam fame — has now threatened to appeal against the rejection of the motion by Naidu in the Supreme Court. Of course, the CJI will not himself sit on such a bench, but whatever the constitution of the bench it is unlikely that the Congress plea will be entertained or should be entertained. The judges can appreciate that nothing would  be gained by renewing the legislature versus judiciary turf fight; both sides stand to lose. Significantly, the hollowness of the charges would call for dismissal of the Congress plea on merit at the admission stage itself. The Supreme Court cannot become, cannot be allowed to become, a forum for the politicians to fight their partisan battles. Even now it may not be too late for the movers to retreat from this destructive course which can only pull down the judiciary a notch or two without advancing their own political cause. Play politics with politicians not with high judicial functionaries entrusted with the task of upholding the founding document of the Republic.

16 Total