Union government wishes to plant representatives in SC collegiumtext_fields
New Delhi: The Union government has written to the Chief Justice of India requesting the inclusion of a government representative in the Supreme Court collegium that decides the appointments of judges, NDTV reports.
In the letter written by the Union law minister Kiran Rijiju, the government demanded that the government's representatives must be included so that transparency and public accountability are maintained.
The development is the latest in a back-and-forth game between the government and the judiciary.
On Sunday, Rajya Sabha MP and former law minister Kabil Sibal criticized the government's move to "capture" the judiciary, planting representatives in the collegium. He asserted the basic structure doctrine, as enunciated in the Kesavananda Bharati verdict, was very important in current times and dared the government to openly say if that is flawed, PTI reported.
Sibal added that the government has not adjusted to the fact that it does not have the final word on appointments in the higher judiciary and resents it.
Rijiju, on Monday, also suggested that there should be representatives of the state in the High Court collegium too.
When many ministers, along with Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, criticized the judiciary for not having government representatives in the collegium, the top court defended its current form of the collegium system.
He also criticized the Supreme Court for scrapping the National Judicial Appointments Commission set up by the BJP-led government through a law enacted in 2014. The commission would have included representatives of both the government and the judiciary.
Rijiju further criticized the top court for scrapping the National Judicial Appointments Commission, appointed by the BJP-led government through legislation in 2014.
Supreme Court maintained that the collegium is the "law of the land" and should be "followed to the teeth", quoted NDTV.
At the moment, the Supreme Court collegium is constituted of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, KM Joseph, MR Shah, Ajay Rastogi and Sanjiv Khanna.