Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday claimed that a few retired judges and some activists who are “part of the anti-India gang” are trying to make the Indian judiciary play the role of the opposition.
He again criticised the collegium system to appoint judges, saying it is a result of the “misadventure” of the Congress.
The minister, speaking at the India Today Conclave, also hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in London on democracy in India.
“Anti-India forces in India and outside India, they use the same language – democracy is in danger, human rights are non-existent in India,” he said.
A few retired judges part of ‘anti-India gang’: Rijiju
“What this anti-India gang says, the same language is used by Rahul Gandhi,” the minister said.
Whatever Gandhi says is publicised with a “louder voice” by the “same ecosystem”, he said.
“The same ecosystem is working in India and outside India. We will not allow this ‘tukde-tukde gang’ to destroy our integrity, our sovereignty,” he said.
The minister said that at a recent seminar in Delhi, where some retired Supreme Court judges and senior lawyers were present, the topic was accountability in judges’ appointment.
“But the discussion the whole day was how the government is taking over the judiciary,” he said.
The minister said he shares an excellent relationship with the chief justice of India, the present one, the last one and all the judges of the Supreme Court.
“It is a few of the retired judges – maybe three or four – a few of those activists, part of the anti-India gang... these people are trying to make Indian judiciary play the role of the opposition party.
“Some people also go to the court and say please rein in the government, please change the policy of the government. These people want the judiciary to play the role of the opposition party, which cannot happen,” Rijiju said.
The judiciary, Rijiju said, is neutral
“Judges are not part of any group or political affiliation. How can these people openly say that the Indian judiciary must take head-on with the government. What kind of propaganda is this,” he said.
Asked whether any action was being taken against just elements, the minister said, “Actions will be taken, actions are being taken as per law. Nobody will escape.”
Rijiju said there is no role of the judiciary as such to initiate and to give finalisation to the appointment of judges.
“It was only later due to the misadventure of the Congress party, the Supreme Court started acting, which some people describe as judicial overreach. Then the collegium system came into existence.
“As long as a new system is not introduced, we will follow the collegium system but the appointment of judges cannot be done by a judicial order. It is purely administrative,” he said.
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