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'Constitution hijacked by SC': Rijiju says this is sane view of majority

The law minister also said that "actually majority of the people have similar sane views"

Kiren Rijiju | Supreme Court

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Newly appointed Minister of State (Independent Charge) Kiren Rijiju takes charge of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs, in New Delhi
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Law & Justice

Law Minister on Sunday sought to support the views of a retired high court judge, who said the “hijacked” the Constitution by deciding to appoint judges itself.

As the government and the judiciary are at loggerheads over the process of appointment of judges to the SC, Rijiju shared the video of an interview of Justice R S 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”.

The law minister also said that “actually majority of the people have similar sane views. It’s only those people who disregard the provisions of the Constitution and mandate of the people think that they are above the Constitution of India.”

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 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.

While Rijiju has described the collegium system as “alien” to the Constitution, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar has questioned the top court for striking down the Judicial Appointments Commission Act . and a related constitution 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 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.

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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, January 22 2023. 22:58 IST