NGO Writes To Law Minister Against Elevation Of Justice S S Shinde Who Had Praised UAPA Accused Stan Swamy
Legal Rights Observatory (LRO), a legal advocacy NGO has written to the Union Law and Justice Minister, Kiren Rijiju against approving the elevation of Justice S. S. Shinde of Bombay High Court as recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium.
The Supreme Court had today issued a statement regarding the recommendation by the Collegium for elevation of Justice Shinde as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court.
Justice Shinde is the second senior-most judge of the Bombay High Court after Justice A. A. Sayed, who has also been recommended for elevation as the Cheif Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The NGO has cited the remark by Justice Shinde praising Jesuit Priest Stan Swamy, who was accused by the NIA of involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence and had been charged under the UAPA Act by the agency. Stan Swamy was accused of having close links with Maoists.
Justice Shinde, who was hearing many cases relating to the Bhima Koregaon case, had said in open court after the death of Swamy that he had great "great respect" for the work of Stan Swamy.
Justice Shinde had also said that Stan Swamy was a "wonderful person" and that the legal case against him was a different matter.
Justice Shinde had to withdraw his remark after the NIA objected to his remark in Court. The NIA had submitted before Justice Shinde that his remarks will create a negative perception about the agency and affect the morale of its officers.
The LRO highlights in its representation to the Minister that Justice Shinde made the remark when he was seized of many matters relating to the Bhima Koregaon case. It also accuses Justice Shinde of being biased in Arnab Gowasmi's case.
Arnab Goswami was denied bail by a Bench of Justice Shinde after his arrest in the abatement to suicide case. However, Arnab was granted bail by the Supreme Court, by a Bench of Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, who minced no words in criticising the approach of the High Court in the matter.
"If constitutional courts do not interfere today, then we are travelling the path of destruction, undeniably. We must send a message to the high courts today that please exercise your jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty," Justice Chandrachud had remarked.
Justice S. S. Shinde was elevated as an Additional Judge of Bombay High Court on March 17, 2008. He had been representing the state of Maharashtra as its Advocate before elevation.