“Collegium System is alien to the Indian Constitution. Judges draw authority from the people of India and the Constitution. Merely because a decision was taken by the judges, how can you expect that decision to be backed by the people,” said Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju. He was speaking at the Times Now Summit on November 25.
“We (government) very well respect the Collegium System until and unless it is replaced by a better system…As long as this system is prevailing, I have to respect the system,” he added.
“But if you expect that the Government to merely approve the name for the appointment of Judges, just because the same is recommended by the Collegium System, what is the role of the government then? There are loopholes in the Collegium System. Now, people are raising their voices that this system is not transparent. The Government is doing certain things which it is expected to do,” he said.
“Never say that the government is sitting on the files, then don’t send the files to the government, you appoint yourself, you run the show then. The executive and the judiciary have to work together, they have to serve the country. There is no question of any fight for supremacy, it is the question of service to the nation. If anything is alien to the Constitution of India, then we are bound to raise the questions,” the Union Minister said.
Shri Rijiju was responding to a question on government “sitting” on various Supreme Court collegium recommendations at a time when cases are piling up in courts.
“I can’t tell judges how they should behave but the convention says that the judges must speak through their judgments. If a judge involves in some kind of commentary which touches the sentiments of the people, then we have to think whether the judge or his judgment has crossed the Lakshman Rekha, thereby inviting criticism. One must be careful,” he added.