Why was Markandey Katju silent so long, asks M Karunanidhi

Chennai, July 22 : DMK president M. Karunanidhi Tuesday came down heavily on Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju charging him with making allegations of corruption in judiciary due to “some hidden pressure”. In a letter to his party cadres, Karunanidhi said Katju was the chief justice of Madras High Court for a year and then went on to become an apex court judge, retiring in September 2011 but after remaining silent all these years, he, for the past two days, has been voicing certain views “due to some hidden pressure”.

Katju in his blog Sunday said an additional judge of the Madras High Court was appointed during the UPA regime despite an Intelligence Bureau report revealing charges of corruption against him. Without naming the Tamil Nadu party which was part of the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Katju said his party had threatened to withdraw support if a particular judge was not given another term as additional judge of the high court.

Raising the issue in parliament, the AIADMK members charged their arch-rival DMK of interfering in the judicial appointments. Stating that he has not complained against Katju for praising Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in his blog. Karunanidhi said Katju has made some unwarranted comments against DMK without naming the party. ”As a result it has become necessary to look into the judge’s (Katju’s) old history,” he said reiterating his question why Katju did not raise the issue when he was the chief justice of the Madras High Court or when he was a Supreme Court judge.

He also questioned why Katju remained silent when the Congress was in power. Recalling Katju’s comment that 90 percent of Indians are fools and his subsequent apology, Karunanidhi said several actions of the former judge are contradictory. Karunanidhi also wondered whether it was appropriate on the part of Katju who is also the chairman of the Press Council of India to walk out of a television interview midway.