I am glad to find the write up by Shri MV Venugopalan “September 30th and after”. My immediate doubt after reading what Shri Venugopalan has written is that why he waited for the heat to die down. He could have joined the discussion any time.
There were two different versions about the Supreme Court proceedings. Shri Asthana was in the visitors enclosure in the court room (since unfortunately he is not an advocate and cannot wear the “black”) and Shri Murty was right before the Hon.Judges in the court room. Shri Asthana could have come out with his arguments when the issues were discussed and it was proved beyond doubt that Shri Asthana had no reply to offer to Shri Murty despite reminders published in the blog.
- Shri Venugopalan writes: “…7th May SC interim judgment, according to which all the pre -1997 pensioners must have got 20% of the DR arrears. The fact of the matter is none of them received what they ought to have. It is quite obvious by now that this happened as a result of the whimsical methods pursued by our so-called three leaders in its implementation.”
While Shri Venugopalan blames “the so-called three leaders” for his own reasons, he doesn’t say anything about the role played or not played by Shri Asthana. Being the main petitioner, Shri asthana failed to take any action in the matter. While the Jaipur judgment provided for payment of difference on account of 100% neutralization and upgradation, he was satisfied with a paltry amount and even the 5 post-97 petitioners were simply ignored.
- Again Shri Venugopalan writes: “Mr.Murty went to the extent of calling Shri. Asthana a liar and a mentally disturbed person. As long as we have not heard what exactly transpired on 30th in the SC from an independent source, how can we take Mr.Murty’s version as a gospel truth and Mr.Asthana’s a fabricated and calculated lie? Supposing, if I say that it was Mr.Murty who was lying and not Mr.Asthana, can anyone deny my claim. Or, together were they fooling the entire community of pensioners? The law itself propounds that a person continues to be innocent as long as he has not been proven guilty. It is grossly unfair and against all norms of decency that Mr.Asthana has been caricatured as a person taking a “Holy Dip” to wash off his sins for hiding the truth. No one can escape responsibility and accountability for one's actions. Therefore, at least in the future before making any accusation about any body,the person indulging in it must possess in controvertible proof or evidence.”
I quoted the long narration of Shri Venugopalan to show how weak are his arguments. When Shri Murty asserts the details and challenges Shri Asthana to ascertain the facts from his own (Shri Asthana’s) advocate, Shri Asthana should have clarified the position and there was no need for Shri Venugopalan to award the benefit of doubt to Shri Asthana.
- Shri Venugopalan continues: “God knows whether Mr.Murtys counsel got any opportunity to speak at all, leave alone making an impression on the judge! On the other hand, though informal, the Hon’ble judge called upon only Sri.Asthanas counsels to present the case. How can,therefore, we disbelieve Mr.Asthana when he asserts and affirms that being the prime party to the case, only his counsels will be heard in the future. “
Let me comment, the whole court proceedings lasted about 90 minutes only. Shri Asthana’s advocate got the opportunity to commence the arguments since Shri Asthana is the main respondent having won the case in Jaipur before others could move the courts. Shri Murty has only said that there was no direction from the court that only Shri Asthana’s advocate shall be permitted to argue.
In these matters, there must be clear court procedures. So nobody need discuss and decide such matters outside the court. Shri Murty’s advocate may or may not be permitted to intervene in the matter. But everything will be decided as per court procedures in the matter and not as per the wishes of Shri Asthana or Shri Venugopalan.