Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that the government should not be attacked for seeking reconsideration of the recommendations made by the Supreme Court Collegium as it didn't commit a "cardinal sin."
The Law Minister said, "This fact I would like to very gently highlight. Even in the collegium system architecture, created by the three judgements of 1993, 1998, 1999 and 2015 of National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC), the right of the government has been acknowledged to seek a reconsideration and also to give inputs."
This comes after the Opposition attacked the Centre for interfering in the autonomy of the Judiciary after it rejected the Collegium's recommendation for the elevation of Justice KM Joseph to the apex court.
Launching a veiled attack on the Congress party, the Law Minister said, "I would urge the political parties that we have enough space to settle our differences in the popular franchise, but those who have lost the political franchise should not use courts to target the ruling party through sponsored litigation."
He further said, "As regards to judicial appointments, I have few observations. We came with NJAC (National Judicial Appointments Commission). It was set aside and we've respected the judgement. But I wish to make it very clear that the law ministry or law minister is not a post office."
Regarding talks of differences in the judicial system, and dissatisfaction among the topmost position, the minister said that the foresight and the statesmanship of the judiciary to be able to solve differences on its own.
He said, "If there are differences in the judicial system let us trust the foresight and the statesmanship of the judiciary to settle it. I would ask the political parties to remain as immune as possible from the entire process. We must respect the institutional integrity of the judiciary."
Highlighting that the government is rightful in seeking reconsideration of the Supreme Court Collegium, he said, "We have a constitutional role and envisaged in the three judgments of the Supreme Court to convey our views."
He also said, "Our government's commitment for a very extraordinary fast delivering justice system is complete."
The government drew flak when Justice Joseph's name was recommended by the Collegium in January along with senior advocate of the top court and now top court judge Justice Indu Malhotra.
The Centre cleared Justice Malhotra's file, but sent Justice Joseph's file back to the Collegium and asked it to reconsider its recommendation.