Political discourse becoming more vulgar: Arun Jaitley

Amid frequent face offs between the government and opposition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said political discourse in the country has become “more vulgar”.

“Though extremely popular to say, the anti-corruption law must be made more and more stringent and more and more unreasonable. That is the more popular way these days in politics, particularly when political discourse also tends to become more vulgar,” Jaitley, under fierce opposition attack over alleged irregularities in Delhi’s cricket body, said delivering the annual Intelligence Bureau lecture.

Jaitley’s comments came amidst the ongoing tussle between the Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre over alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association where he was the president for about 13 years till 2013. Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad too alleged there were financial irregularities in the DDCA when Jaitley was at its helm.

Jaitley has refuted the allegations and filed civil and criminal defamation cases against five AAP leaders, including Kejriwal. About “continuing mandamus”, Jaitley said the whole idea behind the move was to make sure that investigating agency does its job.

The Finance Minister said there are not too many cases in which investigating agencies in a case involving continuing mandamus have ended investigation in favour of the accused. “The golden rule which most investigating agencies follow is that if a court is conducting a continuing mandamus, it is easier to file a charge sheet and let the court decide whether evidence exists or not,” he said.

Therefore, Jaitley said, after 20 years of this experiment, a call has to be taken, including by the courts, whether the imbalance between a fair investigation and rights of the accused have been created by an institution of continuing mandamus.

It is an instrument which can be used rarely in cases where there is reason to apprehend that an honest investigation is not being carried out. “To make continuing mandamus a regular practice, may have a tendency to create an imbalance in the criminal jurisprudence due to the reasoning adopted in the judgement of cases,” he said.