Harish Salve comments on Kiren Rijiju’s remarks regarding the judiciary in “Lakshman Rekha”: Harish Salve

According to Bar and Bench, Senior Advocate Harish Salve expressed his disapproval of Kiren Rijiju’s recent remarks on the running-ins between the government and judiciary over the functioning of the Collegium.

As far as I am concerned, the Law Minister crossed the Lakshman Rekha with what he said. According to Bar and Bench, Salve has stated that the Supreme Court should not hold its hand when it sees an unconstitutional law and be held hostage to the government’s kindness in amending it. A conversation between Salve and former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit took place at the Times Now Summit 2022 on the topic of ‘What Is Slowing India’s Judicial System?’

Salve continued to criticise the Supreme Court Collegium when asked about his opinion.

The Law Minister had criticised the Supreme Court’s observation that the government was sitting on files regarding the appointment of judges cleared by the Collegium on Friday. “Never say the government has the files, then don’t send them to the government; instead, appoint yourself and manage the affairs yourself.”

According to him, the Collegium system is “alien” to the Constitution, and he had asked, “Please tell me under what provision it is prescribed.”

Supreme Court Justice SK Kaul expressed Rijiju’s criticisms on Monday and said he was displeased.

In his remarks, Justice Kaul referred to the Union Law Minister without naming him. There are no difficulties… I ignored all press reports, but he says that when someone high enough asks them to do it themselves, we will do it ourselves, no problem… It came from someone high enough. It shouldn’t have happened. I can only say, “shouldn’t have happened.”

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court expressed its displeasure over the Center’s decision to keep pending the names of people recommended for appointment as judges in the higher judiciary, including those reiterated by the apex court’s Collegium. The top court observed that keeping names on hold was being used to compel the people whose names had been recommended for appointment as judges in the higher judiciary to withdraw their consent.

It is only necessary to issue the appointment following the second reiteration. It is not acceptable to place names on hold; it is becoming a means of forcing these individuals to withdraw their names, as has occurred.”, a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka was quoted as saying by Bar and Bench.

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