Kiren Rijiju, Rajya Sabha, Aadhaar voter card link
Kiren Rijiju has said the exercise is “process-driven” and no target or timeline has been set for the linkage | File photo

Collegium row: Rijiju shares retd HC judge’s interview to underline ‘sane’ view

Amid the ongoing face-off between the government and the judiciary over appointment of judges, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday sought to support the views of a retired high court judge, who said the Supreme Court “hijacked” the Constitution by deciding to appoint judges itself.

Shares video clipping of interview

Rijiju shared the video of an interview of Justice RS Sodhi (retd), a former judge of the Delhi High Court, saying it is “voice of a judge” and that majority of people have similar “sane views”. Justice Sodhi said the right to frame laws lies with Parliament.

The law minister also said, “Actually majority of the people have similar sane views. Only those people, who disregard the provisions of the Constitution and mandate of the people, think that they are above the Constitution of India.”

“Real beauty of Indian democracy is its success. People rule themselves through their representatives. Elected representatives represent the interests of the people and make laws. Our judiciary is independent and our Constitution is Supreme,” tweeted the minister.

Also read: Centre wants govt nominees in panel for appointment of SC, HC judges

Apex court can’t frame laws: Justice Sodhi

In the interview, Justice Sodhi also said the apex court cannot frame laws as it does not have the right to do so. The right to frame laws belongs to Parliament, he said.

“… Whether you can amend the Constitution? Only Parliament will amend Constitution. But here I feel the Supreme Court for the first time hijacked the Constitution. After hijacking they (SC) said that we will appoint (judges) ourselves and the government will have no role in it,” Justice Sodhi said in Hindi.

No end in sight to confrontation

The appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the high courts has become a major flashpoint between the executive and the judiciary.

While Rijiju has described the collegium system to appoint judges as something “alien” to the Indian Constitution, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar has questioned the top court for striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC) and a related constitutional amendment.

Also the chairman of Rajya Sabha, Dhankar, had said a law passed by Parliament, which reflects the will of the people, was “undone” by the Supreme Court and “the world does not know of any such instance”.

By bringing the NJAC law, the government had sought to overturn the Collegium System which came into being in 1992.

Also read: New system needed to address vacancies in higher judiciary: Kiren Rijiju

SC questions delay in clearing judges’ names

The apex court has questioned the government for delay in clearing the appointments of Supreme Court and High Court judges.

Last week, the Supreme Court Collegium had for the second time reiterated the names of two advocates for appointment as judges of the Calcutta High Court “expeditiously”, saying it was not open for the government to repeatedly send back the same proposal.

(With Agency inputs)

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