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I understand people on dais are serious; but you can smile: PM

New Delhi: “I can understand the seriousness on the dais, but others can smile,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today minutes after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed of a widespread fear that phones of judges were being tapped by the government.

While preferring not to react to Kejriwal’s remarks, he asked those present to smile as they were celebrating the golden jubilees of the Delhi High Court.

“I never had the privilege to be in a court but I’m told the atmosphere there is serious. Its influence is seen here too. It’s the golden jubilee, smile a bit.

“I understand the seriousness on the dais so that no wrong perception is created. But here (among audience), I don’t think there is any problem,” he said in a lighter vein leaving the audience in splits.

Beside the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini, Delhi Lt Governor Najib Jung and Chief Minister Kejriwal were also present at the programme to mark the 50 years of the Delhi High Court.

In his address, Kejriwal had alleged that there is a “widespread fear” that the phones of judges are being tapped and said if it is true, then it is the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad promptly denied the allegations, saying the independence of judiciary is fundamental and uncompromising for the Narendra Modi government.

PTI