Twitter war erupts between Rahul Gandhi and Ravishankar Prasad

Twitter turned into a virtual battlefield yesterday when Congress president Rahul Gandhi sparred with Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad over the issue of appointment of judges and pendency of cases in the Indian judiciary.

It was Gandhi who began the war of words by attacking PM Narendra Modi’s government for not appointing adequate judges to courts at all levels, which has resulted in massive pendency of cases. Using a sly dig, he pointed out that there are over 55,000 cases pending in the Supreme Court, more than 37 lakh in High Courts and about 2.6 crore in lower courts.

The Congress president said a “staggering” 400 High Court judges and 6,000 lower court judges have not been appointed by the government, adding that despite such a situation, the Law Minister is “preoccupied peddling fake news”. He was referring to Ravishankar Prasad’s recent press conference in which he charged Congress of hiring a social media company to gain unlawful access to data belonging to millions of users and compromising national security.

He also took a jibe at the Prime Minister by saying that the government stalled alleviation of High Court judge Justice KM Joseph because he had overturned President’s rule in Uttarakhand, which had “hurt Modi ji’s ego.”

Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad responded back to Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of being “angry, frustrated and apprehensive” over a notice being sent to Cambridge Analytica for data manipulation. He also used a series of tweets to indicate how the Modi government has been working hard at improving problems of pendency and judicial appointments, which is a “legacy” of UPA’s rule.

Prasad also hit back with numbers, claiming that average appointment of High Court judges under UPA-1 was 86 per year and 79 per year under UPA-2, while the present NDA government has increased that figure to 109 per year now. He also showed how efforts taken by the government have reduced pendency of cases.