I shall not go on into the merits of Kiren Rijiju's removal as the Law Minister of India, as it is the discretion of the Prime Minister to remove or transfer any member of his Cabinet, citing any number of reasons.
A day after his surprise removal, Rijiju said that he considered this move as the vision of the Prime Minister and not a punishment. Rijiju as Union Law Minister, seen as a man blatantly vocal against the Judiciary was abruptly replaced by a Member of Parliament from Rajasthan where Legislative Assembly Elections are to be held in the coming months. This may be more of a political reason than a disciplinary one.
His last few months were spent being at loggerheads with the Higher Judiciary as he was in favour of widening the dimension of the executive power in matters of Judicial appointments and regarding the embarrassment caused to the Union Government by his continuous diatribe against the Collegium System and the Supreme Court judges and even the retired judges. He made headlines in recent months regarding appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts and gave interviews to the media and tweeted his disagreements with the Higher Judiciary.
Law officers representing the Union Government had to face embarrassment before a Bench of Supreme Court regarding delays in notification of recommendations by the Collegium. His consequent reaction thereafter and his comments regarding a section of former Justices of Higher Judiciary drew flak and was condemned equally by retired civil servants, senior advocates and former judges.
The opposition parties may mock the Central Government that it has failed to replace a cordial and permanent Law Minister after the late Arun Jaitley, and this is true that there has been no one that could have acted as bridge between the Supreme Court and the Union Government.
It can be said that a practising Advocate of Supreme Court can prove him/her self to be a better Law Minister than an ordinary M.P. even being a non-practising law graduate as a lack of experience of legal practise specially before Constitutional Courts will be a drawback.
It is evident that there has been sustained spate of trolling against the present Chief Justice of India and other judges, on various social media platforms which are scandalous in nature and are bound to give a negative impression to the common man regarding the judicial system and also touches the fabric of Contempt of Court. The live reporting/tweeting of courtroom proceedings cannot depict the reality of the merit of the case to the layman and this should be regulated or guidelines drawn. The live courtroom proceedings' tweeting, sometimes, gives an impression that Judiciary is favouring the side of a particular political party which in reality is completely different inside the physical courtrooms, and it's environment. This should be taken care of immediately.
Both the Judiciary and Government, the integral part of our democracy, need to go hand in hand for smooth running of the democratic system of India. The Government should strictly avoid targeting or commenting over the Supreme Court, the Collegium system and the judges. The trolls need to stop criticising the present Chief Justice of India Justice DY Chandrachud who is the biggest advocate of Constitution of India, and claims that our Constitution is so great, that it even protects those who even try to destroy it. Trust my words, the CJI till his last day in the Supreme Court will work with the same enthusiasm and integrity while upholding the values and the norms of the Indian Constitution and rule of law with all the lawful means.
The author Ilin Saraswat is an advocate at the Supreme Court of India
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)