Opposition criticises Rijiju's suggestion to include government nominee in the process of deciding judgestext_fields
After Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju suggested to CJI DY Chandrachud that a government nominee be included in the decision-making process for shortlisting judges, the Opposition slammed the BJP-led government by accusing it of "trying to capture the judiciary".
"Its remedy is a poison pill for an independent judiciary," Congress communication head Jairam Ramesh told The Indian Express.
The Congress has earlier alleged that Rijiju's repeated attacks on the judiciary and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar’s criticism of the Supreme Court for striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act are part of a larger plan to intimidate the judiciary. "The Collegium does need reform. But what this Government wants is complete subservience," added Jairam.
Congress MP Manish Tewari observed that the collegium system came into existence as a consequence of the Second and Third Judges case in 1993 & 1998 respectively. "The Government tried to nullify it by bringing the NJAC paradigm which was struck down by the Supreme Court. Even if the Supreme Court would want to accommodate the Central Government’s desire, how would they do so if the Memorandum of Procedure does not have space for such accommodation. Then the moot question is why only a representative of the Government alone?" he questioned.
Many opposition parties echoed similar sentiments and reacted to the suggestion with disdain.
RJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha said the suggestion is "absolutely shocking". He said such a step will grossly undermine the very idea of independence of the judiciary and unsettle the fine balance as envisaged through the constitution. "Is the government unable to resist the temptation of having a committed Judiciary," he asked.
AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also called the suggestion "extremely dangerous". He tweeted that there should be absolutely no government interference in the judicial appointment.