A lot of criticism has been made over my deposition in England in the case relating to extradition proceedings of Nirav Modi, and the British judge’s comments about me. The judge was, of course, entitled to his opinion. But let me set the record straight.
I did not say before the British judge anything on the merits of the case as to whether Nirav Modi was a criminal or not. That is to be decided in a trial. What I said is that he cannot expect a fair trial in India. And I said that because the Indian judiciary has largely surrendered before the Government and is no longer independent and impartial as it is expected to be. See in this connection my articles such as this and this, as well as statements of other retired Indian judges. The appointment of Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha soon after retirement is also clear proof of that.
Recently, at a function, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court Justice MR Shah and the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Justice Vikram Nath praised Prime Minister Modi sky-high. Is this not shameless kowtowing before the executive?
In an interview, the former Chief Justice of Delhi and Madras High Court, Justice AP Shah, said that the judiciary has let the Indian people down and abdicated its duty of defending the fundamental rights of the people. See also this.
The Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that Nirav Modi is a big criminal (see his statement on YouTube). So Nirav Modi has already been condemned by the government without a trial, and the judiciary, which usually does the bidding of the government, is likely to follow suit.
There is a presumption of innocence until proved guilty, but Nirav Modi has been condemned without a trial.
The British judge has said that I have a personal agenda. This is untrue. I am not, have never been, nor intend to be a member of any political party.
He has also said that I have made statements against several judges. Yes, I spoke against Gogoi and other shameless judges who have kowtowed before the ruling party in India, instead of being independent and impartial, thus violating their oath and conscience.
In his order, the British judge glossed over the extensive material I submitted, and instead made all kinds of uncalled-for and untrue comments.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.