“Play The Role Of Law Officer”: SC Over Kiren Rijiju’s Government Files Remarks

Kiren Rijiju 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…”

Mumbai: Over Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju’s criticism of the top court’s observations that the government was sitting on files relating to the appointment of judges cleared by the Collegium, expressing disapproval Supreme Court’s Judge Justice SK Kaul said that this should not have happened.

During the Times Now Summit interview, Kiren Rijiju 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…”

He described the Collegium system as “alien” to the Constitution. He said, “You tell me under which provision the Collegium system has been prescribed.”

Referring to the related news reports and without directly naming the Law Minister, Justice Kaul said that let them give the power. He said, “We have no difficulty… I ignored all press reports, but what he says, that when somebody high enough says let them do it themselves, we will do it ourselves, no difficulty… It came from somebody high enough. Should not have. All I can say is, should not have happened.” He made these observations while sharing the bench with Justice AS Oka.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the court not to go by media reports. Over this appeal of Mehta, Justice Kaul said, “It’s an interview…with an interview, it becomes difficult to deny what you have said yourselves… I am not saying anything. I am just expecting both the Attorney General and Solicitor General to play the role of a law officer… to advice the government to ensure that the law of the land as laid down by this court is observed.”

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A contempt complaint was being heard by the Justice Kaul and Justice Oka bench from the Advocates Association Bengaluru, which claimed that the government had not yet given its approval to 11 names that had been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court Collegium, in violation of the rules established by the high court.

On November 11, the bench presided over by Justice Kaul made a statement during the hearing that “keeping names pending is not acceptable” and sent a notice to the Secretary of Justice in the Central government.

On Monday, the bench questioned whether the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJACfailure )’s to recommend the names for clearance was the reason the Center was not doing so. “How will the system work if the names are not cleared? We have expressed our anguish…It appears that the government is not happy that the NJAC has not passed muster. But can that be the reason to not clear names?” asked Justice Kaul.


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