Don’t Have to Face Elections, Public Scrutiny’: Kiren Rijiju

The collegium’s decision to raise concerns with the government on the appointment of some individuals as judges of high courts were not approved by the law minister.

Judges do not have to face elections or public scrutiny 

The “Supreme Court versus Union government” dispute took a new chapter when Union law minister Kiren Rijiju openly stated on Monday that judges are still evaluated by the public despite not having to run for office or be subject to public scrutiny.

Additionally, he asserted that a Chief Justice of India had requested him to “take tangible steps” regarding statements on social media criticizing judges. Rijiju’s remarks at the Tis Hazari Courts in New Delhi on January 23 during a Delhi Bar Association event are the most recent in an almost daily back and forth between the judiciary and executive over the appointment of judges.

Making secret reports public is ‘serious’

The Union government’s justifications for continuing to oppose the appointment of justices that it has recommended have lately been made public by the Supreme Court collegium.

The law minister stated that it is “a matter of severe concern” to make confidential reports public during a separate event on Tuesday, January 24.

Reasons for Rejection

The government objected to R. John Sathyan’s appointment to the Madras High Court by citing two social media posts, including one in which he shared an article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi; the opposition to Somasekhar Sundaresan’s appointment to the Bombay High Court was that he had expressed his opinion on a number of issues that constitutional courts have to be considered.

The collegium had stated that Saurabh Kirpal’s open homosexuality and the fact that his partner was a foreign national were the reasons for their opposition to his appointment to the Delhi High Court.

Call for Independent Robust Judiciary: Rijju

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Judges are only ever appointed, and they are not subject to election. Judges are not even subject to public scrutiny. Although the public cannot alter judges, it does scrutinize them, their decisions, and how they administer justice.

The public is observing everything and making judgments. In the era of social media, nothing is hidden, according to Rijiju. Rijiju also asserted that there weren’t enough “avenues and possibilities to engage in public conversations” and that very few politicians took part in television debates while he was the opposition leader.

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