Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju writes to CJI seeking govt nominee in court collegiums.
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud regarding appointment of judges, stating, it should include a government representative in the "search-cum-evaluation committee”.
According to the letter which was sent on January 6, 2023, suggested the search-cum-evaluation committee should have both a state as well as central government nominee at the level of High Court and only a central government representative or nominee at the Supreme Court.
This will "infuse transparency and public accountability" to the common man in the court's decision making process in regards to the appointment of judges, writes the Law Minister.
The Minister says he is not satisfied with the Collegium system of appointment of judges.
"It is just a follow up action of the letters written earlier to CJI following the SC Constitution Bench while striking down the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act. The SC Constitution bench had directed to restructure the MoP of the Collegium system," Rijiju said in a tweet.
The Memorandum of Procedure(MoP) is an agreement between the judiciary and the government. It is a document which contains a set of guidelines/ procedures for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Court.
He further writes, "The contents in the letter to hon'ble CJI are exactly in conformity with the observations and directions of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench. Convenient politics is not advisable, especially in the name of Judiciary. Constitution of India is supreme and nobody is above it."
The current Collegium system is led by the Chief Justice of India along with four senior-most Supreme Court judges who appoints and transfers the judges. Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, KM Joseph, MR Shah, Ajay Rastogi and Sanjiv Khanna are among the current collegium of the Supreme Court.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacts to the letter and calls it extremely dangerous and states that there should not be any government interference in judicial appointments.
Other opposition parties which includes Congress, RSD etc., too criticises the Government stating that, it was an attempt to “intimidate and thereafter capture” the judiciary.