Law Minister Kiren Rijiju says, it is a “matter of grave concern” over SC’s move of making IB, RAW reports public.
The Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday expressed concern over the Supreme Court Collegium decision to make the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) inputs on appointment of judges in the High Courts in the public domain.
The Union Minister says it is a “matter of grave concern” and that he will react to it in an appropriate time.
“Putting the secret or sensitive reports of the RAW or IB (on the appointment of judges in high courts) in public domain is a matter of grave concern which I will react in an appropriate time,” Rijuju said.
"If the concerned officer who is working for the nation in disguise or secret mode in a very secretive location, he will think twice if tomorrow his report is put out in the public domain, and it will have implications. That is why I will not make any comment," Rijiju added.
When asked whether the Union Minister would discuss it with the Chief Justice, he said: "The Chief Justice and I meet so often. We are always in touch. He is the head of the judiciary, I am the bridge between the government and the judiciary. We have to work together - we can't work in isolation. It is a contentious issue...let's leave it for another day."
This comes amidst the ongoing controversy between the Government and the Supreme Court over the collegium system and also at a time after the Supreme Court collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, last week, published on the Supreme Court website the government's objections for the appointment of three candidates for judge and its own counter.
On January 19, the Supreme Court had made public the government's objections to the elevation of three candidates, including an openly gay advocate, as judges.
The revelation caused concern within the security establishment as it has traditionally been customary for intelligence agencies to screen applicants for nominations to the High Court and Supreme Court in confidence.
The ongoing controversy between the Government and the Supreme Court is that the government is of the opinion that the government should also have a crucial role in the appointment of judges which has been the role of the Supreme Court collegium or panel of senior most judges since 1993.
The government argues that the legislature is supreme since it represents the will of the people.
The controversy between the two has also thrown up questions on the constitution and what parts of it can be changed by parliament to rework the system of judges appointing judges.
The Supreme Court has said the collegium system is the "law of the land" which should be "followed to the teeth".
Mr Rijiju has often talked about the "lack of transparency" in the appointment of judges. Yesterday, he said judges need not contest elections of face public scrutiny.
"The people are watching you and judging you. Your judgments, your work process, how you dispense justice... The people can see, and assess... They form opinions," the Law Minister said at an event.
The minister said this while interacting with the media at an award felicitation ceremony held at Jaisalmer House to honour the award winners of eCourts Project organised by the Department of Justice.
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