New Delhi, January 24
The Centre on Tuesday took strong exception to the Supreme Court Collegium making public “sensitive” reports of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) on candidates recommended for appointment as judges of High Courts, saying it’s a “matter of concern”.
“Putting secret or sensitive reports of the RAW or IB in the public domain is a matter of concern which I will react to at an appropriate time,” Rijiju said at the felicitation of award winners of e-courts project here.
While reiterating the names of six candidates for appointment in Delhi, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta High Courts, the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had in its resolutions dated on January 17 and January 18 rejected the government’s objections to the elevations.
The Collegium had specifically mentioned the objections raised in RAW and IB reports; explained why the objections were unsustainable; and then rejected each one of them. With regard to the proposed elevation of senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, an openly gay person, as a judge of the Delhi High Court, it had discussed in detail RAW reports about his Swiss partner. The two communications of RAW did not reflect any apprehension withregard to the individual conduct or behaviour of Kirpal’s partner having a bearing on national security, it had said.
“An officer concerned, who is working for the nation in disguise or in a secretive manner, will think twice if his/her report is going to be in the public domain. It will have an implication,” the Law Minister said, adding that the appointment of judges was an administrative matter and not a judicial matter.
Speaking on the pendency of cases, Rijiju said justice must be delivered at the fastest possible pace. “Today, the total number of pending cases is 4.90 crore. Delay of justice means denying justice. The only way to reduce this pendency of cases is the coming together of the government and the judiciary. Technology plays an important role in this,” Rijiju said.
“When we speak of access to justice, we have to ensure speedy delivery of justice,” the Law Minister said.
Meanwhile, eminent jurist Fali Nariman called for a dialogue between the Law Minister and the CJI to find a solution to the vexed issue of appointment of judges. “The solution lies in the NDA government’s Constitution Amendment Bill of 2003 based on recommendations of the Venkatachaliah Commission,” he said.
The bill proposed a “national commission of five members — three senior-most judges of SC”, explained Nariman.
(With PTI inputs)
Minister’s recent statements against Collegium
- Judges are being judged by the people even though they don’t contest elections….People are watching you (judges)
- Collegium system of judges appointing judges is alien to Constitution
- No system can be perfect. But we need to strive for a better system (of appointing judges)
- “SC hijacked Constitution by deciding to appoint judges itself”: This is the voice of a judge (ex-Delhi HC Judge RS Sodhi) and majority of people have similar sane view
- Collegium can itself issue notification for judges’ appointment if it thinks the government is sitting over its recommendations
- As long as a new system (of appointing judges) is not created, the issue of vacant posts will continue to crop up
- I have a feeling that what Parliament and the people at large want is not reflected (in the appointment of judges)
Will have implications
An officer concerned, who is working for the nation in disguise or in a secretive manner, will think twice if his/her report is going to be in the public domain. It will have an implication. — Law Minister