Harish Salve is an Indian senior advocate who practices at the Supreme Court of India. He served as the Solicitor General of India from 1 November 1999 to 3 November 2002.
Speaking during a webinar on the issue of ”Insulting the Judiciary from Social Media Diatribes”, Mr Salve said, “A lot of people who are not elected feel that they can impose their will on the government through courts. One can criticize that court saying that (in migrants’ case) either the court should have intervened or not… but to say that the court is scared of the government is wrong,” he said.
He further observes,
When people do not get relief from Supreme Court, they say judges are not doing their duty.
If I argue a case and I lose, I should think that I tried my best but I lost.
If a judge does not agree with me, he is dishonest’ – This tendency must be curtailed.
Some people are pushing the boundaries by saying Supreme Court deserves ‘F’ grade for its handling of migrants.
I want a National Judicial Commission, which is independent of the government and not reporting to the court to oversee the transfer mechanism of judges.
Violation of Privacy is a serious issue. Illegally obtained evidence is allowed in India unlike the US. But the person who has obtained it illegally, should be tried.
A lot of frustration of the citizens on poor governance can be addressed by the courts is a perception citizens have. Supreme Court is no lesser than the parliament and no higher than the parliament.
Now, the two things here to outline are specifically entrust the courts to be answerable on.
One, Weather the decisions by Top Courts to intervene selectively in the matters of public importance is a good practice or not ?
Two, Is there anything which make people to believe that Top Courts are biased in nature and the judgement are being influenced by the conduct of executive machinery to make judiciary fall in line with their will ?
Mr. Salve’s observations however in his speech were at arm’s length. He highlighted the attempt of unelected people to exert pressure on judiciary and at the same time mentioned the need to address the frustrations of the citizens on poor governance with perception the citizens have.
To understand the perspective clearly we need to freshen up our memories on the issues wherein Mr. Salve were involved or the issues he put his views therein.
On Spectrum license cancellation by Supreme Court
He held the Supreme Court responsible for the current economic slowdown in the country. Speaking to a website, Salve said that the top court cancelling 122 spectrum licences issued to telecom operators in the 2G spectrum case in 2012 triggered the economy to go on a downward trajectory.
He added the apex court knocked out billions of dollars of foreign investment with a stroke of the pen with its judgement on 2G and coal allocation cases
Remarks on CAA protesters
An opinion shared with Times of India, he concluded it by taking an stand in favour of Citizenship Amendment Act and observed that ‘TV anchors’ and protesting members of ‘civil society’ follow ideologies found in dust-ridden books, while ignoring Supreme Court’s recent judgments wherein the Top Court have unequivocally upheld the principle that laws can be declared unconstitutional on the grounds of arbitrariness.
On Impeachment motion against the then CJI Deepak Mishra
In a discussion with Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, he asserted the necessity of the sanctity of the judiciary to be maintained and slammed Congress and politically motivated lawyers for trying to vilify the constitutional institution.
He spoke about the Keshavananda Bharti judgement of 1973, Mrs Indira Gandhi succeeded 3 of the senior most judges in the Supreme Court. Mr Palkhiwala had written a book called “Judiciary Made to Measure
On his representation to Arnab Goswami on Palghar Lynching remarks on Sonia Gandhi
While representing Arnab Goswami on a Plea in Supreme Court praying transfer the case to CBI he put his remark on a Political Party though without naming, “One political party targeting a journalist.”
Salve argued that the nature of the FIRs regarding Goswami’s show about the Palghar lynching – where he had made allegations against Congress President Sonia Gandhi – showed that it was an “arm-twisting tactic”, and that the 12-hour long interrogation conducted by the police was unnecessary.