NEW DELHI: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday took a dig at the Congress for creating a furore over the government’s decision to send back a judicial appointment recommendation to the Supreme Court collegium for reconsideration.
In a Facebook post, Jaitley said judges were superseded in the past with the aim of influencing judgements. “The executive can give inputs to the collegium, it can even refer a recommendation back with relevant inputs for reconsideration, but is eventually bound by the recommendations. This is contrary to the text of the Constitution,” he said, and added that he had written the post so that his friends in the Congress were shown the mirror.
The government had returned the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium for elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to the apex court. Although the collegium has decided to resend his name to the Centre, it is yet to officially approach the government.
The minister cited various instances in the past when judges of the Supreme Court were superseded and recommendations of the apex court were turned down. Citing the famous Kesavananda Bharati case, Jaitley recalled how the government had tried to subvert the independence of the judiciary and gain the power to even tweak the basic tenets of the Constitution with the help of Parliament.
Talking about Nehru’s time, Jaitley said that when Justice HJ Kania started recommending names for appointment to the High Courts, it caused a significant flutter. “Pandit Nehru questioned his suitability to be the first Chief Justice of India. It was only Sardar Patel’s pragmatism that had enabled him to manage.” Jaitley also recalled how previous governments had tried to delay the hearing so that the then Chief Justice SM Sikri retired.