The authorities have been deliberately attacking the integrity and independence of the Judiciary, Karnataka State Congress-in-Charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said a day after Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju wrote to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Monday stating that he is not satisfied with the Collegium system of appointing judges.
"PM, Law Minister & other Constitutional authorities are deliberately attacking the integrity and independence of the Judiciary by a design. The underlying & obvious purpose is the capture of judiciary so that Govt is not held accountable for its arbitrary acts by the court," the Congress MP from Karnataka said in a series of tweets.
He further expressed that the current Collegium system needs reform and asserted that the "judicial appointments need transparency and fairness that is apparent".
"However, the open hostility and prejudice of the ruling Govt. should not be permitted to dictate the due process of appointment &transfer of judges," he added.
Rijiju's letter to the CJI pitched for the inclusion of government representatives in the Supreme Court.
According to the Centre, this will infuse transparency and accountability to the public in the court's decision-making process with respect to the appointment of judges.
Surjewala, further in his tweets, said: "Modi Govt. is already following a policy of deliberately withholding collegium recommendations for months and years to keep the fate of recommended names for judges in limbo. As per Law Minister himself, 6 SC judges posts and 333 HC judges posts are vacant as of Dec 2022."
"Yet, out of 21 names recommended for various High Courts, BJP Govt has returned 19 to the Collegium for reconsideration. This is despite 10 of the names having been reiterated by the Collegium. It is, thus, clear who is responsible for the delays in appointment of judges," his another tweet read.
Further, terming the letter an "open secret" the Congress MP emphasised that the "idea has been to create a designed schism and a consequent logjam bringing the judicial appointments and transfers to a standstill until people favourable to the thinking of the Modi Govt and its ideological masters find a place in the list of appointees."
"Time for every Indian to raise their voice for silence is a sacrilege when institutional capture is writ large. Need for judicial reforms cannot be a cloak for judicial subjugation at the altar of Modi Govt. Stand up and speak for Judicial Independence. Satyameva Jayate!" he added.
Notably, the Supreme Court Constitution Bench had directed the restructuring of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) of the collegium system.
The MoP is a document that sets out the procedure for the appointment of judges to High Courts and the Supreme Court.
Under the present Collegium system, the Chief Justice of India along with four senior-most Supreme Court judges recommend the appointments and transfers of judges. Chief Justice Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, KM Joseph, MR Shah, Ajay Rastogi and Sanjiv Khanna are among the current collegium of the Supreme Court.
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