Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has told in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday (February 2) what he had written in the letter to the Supreme Court last month, on which there was a lot of controversy. Rijiju said that in his letter to the Supreme Court, he had suggested the inclusion of a government representative in the search-cum-evaluation committee for the appointment of judges. The Search-cum-Valuation Committee itself assists the Supreme Court and the High Court Collegium System in the appointment of judges.
What did the government say in the letter to the SC?
Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha that in a letter dated January 6, 2023, the government had suggested to the Supreme Court, among other things, that the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and High Court Representatives of the government should also be included in the cum-evaluation committee. The court was asked to finalize the Memorandum of Practice (MOP) for the appointment of judges.
Kiren Rijiju said that this step will bring more transparency in the appointment of judges. He said that more transparency and accountability will come in the appointment of judges in the Constitutional Court through the suggestions given and other suggestions.
There was an uproar over Rijiju’s letter
Let us tell you that last month when this letter was sent by the government to the Supreme Court, it was claimed that the government wanted to include its representatives in the collegium. This claim was also made in all the media reports. However, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju denied this in a program of Delhi Bar Association. He had said that apart from the CJI, there are four more judges in the collegium. How can I get someone included in the collegium? He sarcastically said that there was a debate on this news on the channels.. even a former judge of the Supreme Court gave his interview…’.
The opposition made the issue
When the news came that the government had written a letter to the Supreme Court, then all the opposition parties, including the Congress, made it an issue. From West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had targeted the central government and accused the return of NJAC through the back door. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had even termed the central government’s letter as a ‘poison pill’. (Click on this link to read the full story)