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It is not appropriate for the executive and judiciary to fight each other: Kiren Rijiju

In his address, Rijiju noted that India is a thriving democracy, and to ensure the success of an institution, people have to be given due recognition and credit. (Deccan File Photo)

On Friday, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju appealed for fraternal relations between the government and the judiciary, saying the two are brotherly and should not clash.

According to him, the central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never undercut the authority of the judiciary, and the judiciary’s independence will always be protected and protected.

We should be the offspring of the same parents. Hum bhai-bhai hain. Aapas me ladna-jhagadna theek nahi hai. Hum sab milkar kaam karenge aur desh ko mazboot banaenge. (We are brothers. We must work together to strengthen the nation),” he said at an event held on the Supreme Court lawns the evening before Constitution Day.

According to him, the Indian government will always support and strengthen the Indian judiciary, adding they should work together and guide one another.

As a result of not honouring the recommendations of the Supreme Court collegium, SCBA President Vikas Singh described an “apparent conflict” between the two wings.

In spite of the senior lawyer’s assertion that the current collegium system needs to be made “more credible” until a better system is in place, he added that the Centre “cannot be seen to be violating the statute of limitations” when it comes to appointing judges.

SCBA members, judges and the Attorney General attended the Constitution Day celebration held by the SCBA to commemorate the day.

The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India on November 26 in 1949, so that day is now observed as Constitution Day. Law Day was observed earlier in the year.

The minister noted that India is a thriving democracy, and in order for an institution to succeed, it must ensure that its constituents are given due credit and recognition.

A weak leader results in a weak country. The weakening of the Chief Justice will also result in the weakening of the Supreme Court as a whole. In the event that the Supreme Court becomes weak, this will lead to a weakening of the Indian judiciary,” he stated.

The minister noted that instability weakens a country and that the prime minister is the elected leader of the country. According to him, respecting him enhances the country’s image.

Rijiju stated that he is committed to abiding by the spirit of the Constitution in the true sense of the term and to improving the judicial infrastructure as well.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, in the past eight and a half years, our government has not undermined the authority of the Indian judiciary. According to him, it is proceeding very well and the amount of coordination and cooperation that the Indian judiciary is engaging in is paying dividends.

On policy matters, he declared, the government will always be available to support and strengthen the Indian judiciary, as well as to ensure that the independence of the judiciary will be protected and enhanced.

The SCBA president Singh urged the law minister to ensure that the collegium’s recommendations are not “neglected” when recommending names for appointment as judges.

According to him, it is unfortunate that the government is disobeying the rule of law by not accepting the recommendations which are repeated and that there should be some uniformity in this regard.

There appears to be a conflict of interest, which is quite evident everywhere that names are being recommended but are not being appointed. As far as I am concerned, this is a complete negation of the rule of law. Please ensure that this form of negation does not occur again,” Singh pleaded.

“The collegium’s recommendation should be honored uniformly. There is no way the government can pick and choose and say this one we will appoint and that one we will not,” he continued.

However, Singh pointed out that a system should be established to ensure that the “best” are selected as judges in a transparent and fair manner.

My assessment of this system is that it is not functioning in the way it was designed to. In the beginning, I did not have any objections to the collegium system; however, it needs to be made more credible. The judges must come up with an in-house system if the government is not ready to bring about a law to strengthen the credibility of the system, ensuring that the nation and the legal community are assured that the best candidates are chosen in a manner that justifies the fact that the entire process is transparent and fair,” he stated.

According to him, until a better system is implemented, “they (government) must comply with the law”.

Venkataramani emphasized that the Constitution is a “social justice document” and that a permanent law commission should be established.

In addition, Rijiju noted that Chief Justice Chandrachud was doing a “tremendous job” while leading the top court’s e-committee, and he predicted that the Indian judiciary would reach new heights under Chandrachud’s leadership.

As far as the Indian judiciary is concerned, he would like to see it go paperless.

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