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Include government representative in Collegiums: Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in letter to CJI

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud suggesting him that government representatives should be included in the Supreme Court and High Court Collegiums.

The letter said that this will add to transparency and accountability in the decision-making process with respect to appointment of judges before the public.

There has been an ongoing tussle between the Apex court and the Central government when it comes to the process of appointing judges to constitutional courts.

The Law Minister Kiren Rijiju is not satisfied with the Collegium system of appointing judge. He has asked and advocated for the reintroduction of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) which in the year 2015 was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

As per the law minister, the government has a major role to play in choosing judges as judges themselves do not have access to reports and other information that the government does.

The Law minister also believes that he would be failing in his responsibility if he did not carry out due diligence before approving names recommended by the Collegium.

The law Minister had already made clear that the Centre should not be blamed for sitting over recommendations made by the Collegium as the government cannot simply sign off on all the recommendations made by it.

Justices SK Kaul and Justice Abhay S Oka, have replied to the above and said that the government can convey its objections to the recommendations made by Collegium, but holding the names without conveying any reservations cannot be accepted.

The CJI DY Chandrachud said that it is wrong to point out the collegium system as there are no institution which is hundred per cent perfect in a Constitutional democracy.

He added that Collegium system which is followed for appointing judges cannot be singled out.

In response to the recent criticism levelled against the Collegium, he said that judges are faithful soldiers who implement the Constitution.

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