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Law can’t justify CJI appointing judges: Govt

Law can’t justify CJI appointing judges: Govt
Highlights

Questioning the collegium system, government on Friday said in Rajya Sabha that no position of law \"can ever justify\" a situation where the CJI appoints other judges and everyone else becomes irrelevant.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks in Rajya Sabha during the winter session of Parliament on FridayNew Delhi: Questioning the collegium system, government on Friday said in Rajya Sabha that no position of law "can ever justify" a situation where the CJI appoints other judges and everyone else becomes irrelevant.

The remarks of Finance Minister and Leader of the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley came a month after the Supreme Court struck down a law to establish a new system of appointment of judges where the Executive had a say.

This is the first time the government has made a statement on the collegium system in Parliament after the October 16 Supreme Court verdict.

Noting that independence of judicary is absolutely essential, the lawyer-turned-politician said appointment of judges to high judiciary should be done through a consultative process.

"Today, the absolute contrary to what Dr Ambedkar had envisaged is happening," Jaitley said, adding "today we have reached a position where CJI...will appoint and everyone else is irrelevant. No position of law can ever justify it," he said initiating a debate in the Upper House on 'commitment to India's Constitution'. The collegium system made a return after a gap of six months after the SC verdict. The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and an accompanying constitution amendment act were brought into force on April 13. It overturned the collegium system. But the two Acts were struck down on October 16 by a Constitution bench of the apex court.

Jaitley said activism by courts many a time has raised questions that it should not cross the "lakshman rekha" and the "delicate" balance between different organs prescribed in the Constitution should not be affected. No law can ensure to maintain this, Jaitley added.

A court cannot decide how many calories a terrorist has to be fed or how bullets could be fired in an encounter, he said.

The Samajwadi Party also took strong objection to the apex court's decision to strike down the NJAC law passed by Parliament saying such decisions of the court should be discussed in the House.

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