August 11, 2020
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"The File Could Not Be Kept Pending"

Union Law Minister M. Thambidurai spoke to K.S. Narayanan. Excerpts from the interview:

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"The File Could Not Be Kept Pending"
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Was it proper for the Union law minister to fax the message terminating the services of Justice C. Shivappa?
The fax is one of the latest methods of communication. There is nothing wrong in faxing the message. That message also did not give any signal to Justice Shivappa to relinquish his office. I have forwarded the message of the President of India to the chief justice of Madras High Court and also to Justice Shivappa, on the decision taken on the matter of his date of birth. It is a very important and sensitive matter. The file could not be kept pending.

A division bench of Chennai High Court consisting of Justice Shivappa and Justice Kanagaraj was hearing a petition against sand quarrying in your constituency, Karur. Did this influence you?
I have already denied these allegations. If I had held back the order, then people would have accused me of helping Shivappa as he was handling my case. If Shivappa leaves some other judge will take up the case. These allegations are baseless.

Justice Shivappa rejected 19 appeals from Jayalalitha and Sasikala. Is there no connection between his record and his sacking?
How can you make a connection now? The petition that Shivappa was over age was moved during the time of the UF government. They have more or less found prima facie evidence. We have nothing to do with this matter.

How do you justify the transfer and promotion of Justice Raju to Himachal Pradesh just when the judgement on the special courts was about to be pronounced?
I cannot stop him (Justice Raju) from getting a promotion. I would have been accused of withholding his promotion.

What about Chief Justice M.S. Liberhan's transfer?
Why don't you ask the Chief Justice of India? He alone can recommend appointments and transfers.

Abdul Razack, an itat judge, has accused you of shifting him to Guwahati because he gave a ruling against Sasikala.
I have never asked any of the judges to favour anyone. I am in no way connected with Razack's transfer. Many judges have been transferred. Why is Razack alone complaining?

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