Coming down heavily on Supreme Court Judges’ remark that the Centre was ‘sitting’ over the recommendations made by the Collegium, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has said that the Judges’ body cannot expect the government to simply approve of all the recommendations made by it.
Speaking during the Times Now Summit on the topic ‘Shaping Indian Judiciary For India,’ the Minister said on Friday that the Union government has the apparatus to find out the background of a person and whether he or she was qualified for the Judge’s job.
Calling the Collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts as ‘alien’ to the Constitution of India, Rijiju alleged that there are loopholes in the Collegium and thus, people were raising voices against it. He further said that the Collegium system was not transparent, there was a bit of opacity and no accountability.
As per Rijiju, when the Collegium system was introduced for the appointment of Judges, the government of the day had respected it. Even the current dispensation respected the Collegium system and would continue to do so, unless it was replaced by a better system but until then, the government would exercise its due diligence before acting on Collegium recommendations, he added.
Calling the Constitution of the country a religious document for every one and especially for the Central government, the Minister said that anything which was alien to the Constitution, would be questioned by the government.
He further questioned the provision of the Constitution that provided for this system, adding that there was no such provision. The Supreme Court, by way of a court ruling or verdict, had created the Collegium, which recommended names for appointment as Judges to both the Apex Court and High Courts.
As per the Minister, the Constitution had empowered the Central government (through President) to appoint Judges to the apex court and also to the High Courts, after consulting the same with the concerned Chief Justices.
He also refuted the allegations of a verbal duel going on between the judiciary and the executive and said that the two pillars of democracy had no other option, but to work together.