Karnataka guv's action an open invitation to practice corruption, says Jethmalani

Ram Jethmalani Ram Jethmalani | Facebook account of Ram Jethmalani

In September 2017, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani (94) said he was retiring as far as practising law was concerned. And he remained true to that decision, not accepting any case nor appearing for any client.

But there is another thing he had said then—his fight against corrupt politicians would, however, go on.

On Wednesday night, he had made up his mind to move the Supreme Court against the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite the BJP's B.S. Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as chief minister on Thursday morning. Jethmalani was moving the Supreme Court in his own capacity.

Appearing before Dipak Misra, the Chief Justice of India, the veteran lawyer said he was not representing any political party and sought an urgent hearing against what he called “a gross abuse of constitutional power.” Jethmalani added that this action by Vala had brought disgrace to the constitutional office the governor holds.

The chief justice of India directed him to the three-judge bench that had heard the petitions filed by the Congress and the JD(S) on the same subject.

The bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan will hear the petition of JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy and G. Parameshwara, challenging the Karnataka governor's decision to invite Yeddyurappa on Friday.

In his typical style, using words with punch, Jethmalani later told a news channel that it was not “horse trading, but donkey trading.” “What has the BJP said to the governor that the governor has taken this kind of a decision? If you don't disclose the facts to the public, that itself is enough misbehaviour in a constitutional office in a democracy... This order of the governor is an open invitation to practice corruption,” the senior lawyer added.

Jethmalani told reporters in the court premises that he had one objective. “I have one objective left, that is to get rid of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi.” He also pointed out that the governor was a protégé of Modi.