Collegium System Is Alien To Constitution, Govt's Role Not Merely To Sign: Kiren Rijiju
While speaking at the Times Now Summit, the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has termed the Collegium System to be alien to the Constitution of India.
The law minister has said that "Collegium system is alien to the Indian constitution. You tell me under which provision the collegium system has been prescribed."
He further said that "As long as the collegium system is prevailing, I have to respect the system but if you expect the government should merely sign the name to be appointed as Judge just because it has been recommended by the collegium, what is the role of government then?"
He said that "There are loopholes, there are things people are now raising voices that the system is not transparent…."
"Never say that government is sitting on the files, then don't send the files to the government. You appoint yourself and run the show.", he added.
He further said that if anything is alien to the constitution of India, it is bound to raise questions.
"The executive and the judiciary will have to work together. There is no question of fight for supremacy. It is a question of service to the nation. I am bound by the constitution. If anything is alien to the constitution of India, it is bound to raise questions."
While talking about the recent protest by Lawyers against the proposed transfer of Justice Nikhil Kariel, he said that "Suppose a Judge is transferred from Andhra Pradesh High Court to Rajasthan High Court and if the lawyers of one of the High Courts protest against this decision of the Collegium and shut down the Court, then tomorrow for another judge there will be another protest. If there is no mechanism to handle this situation then in the future it will be a recurring instance where a judge cannot be touched."
He said that "I don't want Judges to be abused on the Social media or in public forum. Judiciary is well respected, they must be protected…"
"But if a Judge involves in some kind of conduct or some kind of commentary which wrongly touches the sentiment of the people, then we have to think whether the judge or his judgment has crossed the laskhman Rekha.", he added further.
While talking about the issue of access to Justice, the law minister said that "we must have the vehicle to ensure that the access to justice is equitable, just and in transparent manner."
He also said that some of the advocates charge Rs. 30-40 Lakhs per hearing which means rich people can afford justice. He further added that when we talk about equitable justice, lawyers and Judges must ensure that the cases are not influenced by someone more influential.
He said that "I have requested some of the senior advocates to go for free legal aid. Why not? You earn lots of money now do some free legal service to people."