Centre not to give up, to give structured answer

New Delhi: Surprised with the Supreme Court striking down the NJAC, the Modi government on Friday mulled over future options.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the “parliamentary sovereignty has received a setback” by the verdict while Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said he was “really surprised” but “we have to go through the text, talk to law officers, senior colleagues and the prime minister and then decide”.

sadananda

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was earlier the law minister, came up with the strong statement and backed it with background piled up over 20 years that led to judicial appointment act. He said the government will come up with a more structured response after going through the voluminous judgment running into more than 1,000 pages.

Saying that though the BJP respects the “independence of judiciary”, since there are many present leaders who have fought against the Emergency imposed by the Congress and ruled out “confrontation”, he said “the country should be required to be conveyed that one of the finest and outstanding judges came from the previous system” that existed prior to 1993 when the collegium system was introduced to replace executive dominance in appointments to high courts and the Supreme Court.

He also wondered whether judges appointing judges was the only instrument of judicial independence. At the same time, the minister clarified that the party was not for “one-upmanship” between Parliament and judiciary.

Prasad, who is himself a lawyer, argued that many suggestions for change of judicial appointments came from Justice Venkatacheliah commission for constitution review in 2002, administration reform commission, law commissions, and three parliamentary standing committees.

To counter the perception that the NJAC would compromise judicial freedom and independence, Prasad quoted highly respected justices, including V R Krishna Iyer who, as per him, had said that collegium system was “constitutionally irrelevant”.

Besides, the political class, he elaborated, was unanimous in its resolve for having an improved system of appointments since he said that as former law minister he had sought consent of 26 national and regional political parties and they had agreed for having outside representation in selection process to make it more transparent.

3 Comments

  1. Sri. Sadananda Gowda, I wish, you never took the Minister of Law job under the BJP Government. You were taken out from the Railway because you didn’t bring the FDI by the billions into the Indian Railway within months after taking the job; an impossible task imposed by the task master. Now your headaches are going to be very severe migraine headaches facing an head on collision course with the Supreme Court of India, the supreme head of the law and order mechanism of India.

    The autocratic rule of the BJP Government was going in rounds to suppress the fundamental freedom of the citizens of India on the one hand, on the other hand trying to put a chock hold on the whole nation as a prelude to establish a theocratic autocracy; but the game plans are being backfired one after another, finally with the Supreme Court of India.

    The overconfidence of the BJP Government to play with the rule and law of India to enslave them under their total control was a totally miscalculated agenda, wait and watch.

    • Dear AS MATHEW,
      As per the amended provisions of the constitution, the Commission would have consisted of the following six persons:

      Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
      Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio
      The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio
      Two eminent persons

      These (two) eminent persons would have been nominated by a committee consisting of the

      Chief Justice of India,
      Prime Minister of India, and
      Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha), provided that of the two eminent persons, one person would be from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC or minority communities or a woman. The eminent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination.

      Now that the 98th constitutional amendment is struck down by SC .. only judges will promote themselves to Chief Justice post.

      Only fools can say that India is moving towards autocratic state.

      • The 98th constitutional amendment is mathematically irrational, for to make any choice by a majority, the committee must have odd number of members and not even number of members. Then only a tie while taking decision would not occur and always a majority decision is assured. Even number of members, at time would give a verdict having equal numbers on both sides, thereby causing a stalemate.

        No sane prime minister or law minister would ever cause any such committee to get a majority decision on any matter!

        They may fool people irrationally, not maths!!!

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