Need for judicial reforms cannot be cloak for judicial subjugation: Cong

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala on Tuesday alleged that the Prime Minister, Law Minister and other constitutional authorities were deliberately attacking the integrity and independence of the judiciary by a design.

Surjewala said, “The underlying & obvious purpose is the capture of judiciary so that Govt is not held accountable for its arbitrary acts by the court.”

“Time for every Indian to raise their voice for silence is a sacrilege when institutional capture is writ large.

“Need for judicial reforms cannot be a cloak for judicial subjugation at the altar of Modi Govt.Stand up and speak for Judicial Independence,” he added.

Surjewala said the current collegium system definitely needs reform. Judicial appointments need transparency and fairness that is apparent but, the open hostility and prejudice of the ruling government should not be permitted to dictate the due process of appointment and transfer of judges.

He alleged: “Modi Govt. is already following a policy of deliberately withholding collegium recommendations for months and years to keep the fate of recommended names for judges in limbo. As per Law Minister himself, 6 SC judges posts and 333 HC judges posts are vacant as of Dec 2022.”

In his attack, he said that despite vacancy in courts out of 21 names recommended for various High Courts, the BJP government has returned 19 to the collegium for reconsideration.

“This is despite 10 of the names having been reiterated by the collegium. It is, thus, clear who is responsible for the delays in appointment of judges.

“The idea is to create a designed schism and a consequent logjam bringing the judicial appointments and transfers to a standstill until people favourable to the thinking of the Modi Govt and its ideological masters find a place in the list of appointees. This is an open secret.”

Surjewala said this reacting to reports that the government wants its nominee in the collegium, which recommends names for appointments in the higher judiciary.

The Congress had earlier termed Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar’s recent criticism of the Kesavananda Bharati judgement as an “extraordinary attack” on judiciary.

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