Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday alleged that phones of members of the Indian judiciary are being tapped and their conversations are being monitored.
“I don’t know if it is true or not, but if this is true, then it’s dangerous. Where is the independence of the judiciary then?” the Delhi chief minister said, likely alluding to the collision course that the Centre and the judiciary have been on for over a year now.
Kejriwal’s allegation was quickly rebutted by an irate Union Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“I wish to deny with all the authority at my command that the phones of judges have been tapped in India at all”, said Prasad, who in addition to Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the speakers at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Delhi high court.
“I have been Communication Minister for two years and I completely deny that phones of judges are tapped at all,” Prasad added.
The Delhi CM, no stranger to being at loggerheads with the Centre, also criticized it for meddling with the independence of the judiciary.
He commented about the collegium system, which has been a bone of contention between the Centre and the judiciary, which is still in a limbo.
He said that he had “read that the Supreme Court collegium has sent names for judges months ago but the Centre not approved them.”
“This leads to rumours and they are not good,” he added.
On Friday, the Supreme Court had warned the government and said that delays in the appointment of judges threatened to “decimate” the judiciary.