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AIADMK stalls Rajya Sabha over Katju’s account of corrupt judge

New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI): The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Monday forced adjournment of the Rajya Sabha twice during Question Hour over former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju's reported allegation that political pressure during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime had led to elevation of a judge despite charges of corruption against him.

Ruckus created by AIADMK members seeking suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue of “political interference in judicial appointments” led to the House first being adjourned for 10 minutes and then till 1200 hours.

No sooner had Ronald Sapa Tlau, the newly-elected member from Mizoram, taken oath, AIADMK members were up on their feet displaying copies of a newspaper that carried an article by Press Council of India Chairman Katju on the appointment.

”You will not show newspaper here, Dr Maitreyan,” Chairman Hamid Ansari said referring to AIADMK leader who wanted the Question Hour to be suspended to discuss the issue.

V. Maitreyan said this was an important issue.

”You can't do this... nobody is listening to you,” Ansari said as AIADMK members moved into aisle raising solgans.

He then adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed with AIADMK members insisting on suspension of Question Hour.

“If you have an issue to raise, raise it through appropriate procedure. This is not the way. You are disrupting listed business,” Ansari said warning members that he would name them if they continued to display newspaper.

”I will have to name you for display of newspaper,” he said as unheeding AIADMK members continued to shout slogans.

Maitreyan wanted to know if former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was seated in the House, was aware of the allegation against the judge and if his ally DMK had put pressure on his government to elevate him.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar said the Chair could give one minute to the agitating members to make their point and then Question Hour can be taken up.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the Question Hour should be allowed to proceed and the issue can be raised after that if the Chair permits.

”I am not going into the merits of the case,” he said.

Ansari said there was an establised procedure for taking up issues. “Why is it being ignored?”

”The House is adjourned till 1200 hours because of disruption caused by some members in violation of the rules,” he said.

Katju has alleged that a District Judge in Tamil Nadu was elevated to an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court despite charges of corruption against him.


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