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'Orchestrated confrontation to intimidate and capture judiciary': Congress slams Centre over its letter to CJI

"The VP's assaults. The attacks of the Law Minister. All of this is an orchestrated confrontation with the judiciary to intimidate and then completely capture it," said All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Jairam Ramesh. 

Orchestrated confrontation to intimidate and capture judiciary: Congress slams Centre over its letter to CJI - adt
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First Published Jan 16, 2023, 4:27 PM IST

The Congress accused the central government on Monday of 'intimidating' the judiciary in a bid to 'capture' it, following a letter from Law Minister Kiren Rijiju to the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud proposing the inclusion of Union and state government representatives in Supreme Court and high court collegiums. 

In his letter to the CJI, the law minister Rijiju has requested this representation, claiming that it will improve transparency and public accountability in selecting judges. 

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter and wrote, "The VP's assaults. The attacks of the Law Minister. All this is an orchestrated confrontation with the judiciary to intimidate and then completely capture it."

 

"The Collegium requires reform. But what this government wants is total subservience, its solution is a poison pill for the judiciary," he added. 

In his tweet, Law Minister Rijiju justifies his letter to the CJI, saying, "The content of the letter to hon'ble CJI is exactly in conformity with the observations and directions of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench."

Rijiju said, "Convenient politics is not advisable, especially in the name of the judiciary. The Indian Constitution is supreme, and no one is above it."

He said that the government's demand for the inclusion of its representatives and those of states in collegiums of the Supreme Court and high courts was the 'exact follow-up action' suggested by the apex court in its decision to strike down the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act. 

Rijiju commented in response to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who called it 'extremelly dangerous' the government's move to ask the Supreme Court to include its nominees in the collegium. 

"I hope you honour Court's direction! This is a direct result of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench's decision to invalidate the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act. The Supreme Court Constitution Bench directed that the collegium system's MoP (Memorandum of Procedure) be restructured," said Rijiju in his tweet. 

Kejriwal said, "This is extremelly dangerous. There should be no government interference in judicial appointments."

In November, Rijiju said that the collegium judicial appointment system was 'alien' to the Constitution. Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla claimed that the judiciary was encroaching on the legislative powers.

(With inputs from PTI)

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