STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Judicial Commission, SIT on Blackmoney Priority Areas: Prasad

Prasad, who took charge as Law Minister this morning, also said increasing the strength of judges, improvement of court infrastructure to make justice more accessible and making India a hub of international arbitration and reconciliation cases will also remain his priority areas.

Published: 27th May 2014 03:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2014 03:19 PM   |  A+A-

Ravi Shankar Prasad_PTI

PTI/File

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The establishment of a National Judicial Commission to give Executive a say in appointment of judges and setting up an SIT on blackmoney stashed abroad are the priority areas for the Modi government, newly-appointed Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Tuesday.

Prasad, who took charge as Law Minister this morning, also said increasing the strength of judges, improvement of court infrastructure to make justice more accessible and making India a hub of international arbitration and reconciliation cases will also remain his priority areas.

Responding to questions on the move of successive governments to replace the present collegium system where judges appoint judges, Prasad, who is himself a lawyer, said establishment of National Judicial Commission is part of the BJP's manifesto.

"Surely I will go through the existing instrument which is there. If there is a need for some improvement or some more consultation, we may consider it. But today, I will have to go through it in some more detail," he told reporters.

A parliamentary nod eluded the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill despite the UPA-II government in its last days agreeing to the demands by jurists and BJP to grant constitutional status to the proposed commission for appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary to ensure that its composition cannot be altered through an ordinary legislation.

The last effort to replace the collegium system in 2003 did not succeed. The then NDA government had introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill but the Lok Sabha was dissolved when the bill was before a Standing Committee. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the Law Minister then.

The practice of judges appointing judges started after 1993, replacing the system of government picking judges for higher judiciary comprising the Supreme Court and High Courts.

Responding to posers on blackmoney and SC granting more time to the government to form an SIT on the issue, Prasad said the issue of blackmoney is part of BJP's manifesto.

"A proper SIT for blackmoney, taking all the initiatives will be priority area," he said. He, however, said since it is his first day in office, he will have to go through the issues in detail with his officers.

On the issue of Lokpal, he said the Bill was passed by Parliament after "finer" improvements by the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.

"I will also have a look at it in my new role as the Law Minister and surely I will revert to you," he said.

He was asked about the NDA's government's stand on Lokpal Act.

When asked about death penalty, he said it is an issue on which there are a lot of views -- for and against. He said to the best of his knowledge, there were differences among some Supreme Court judgements too.

"Therefore, a larger view has to be taken by consultation...many judgements have different views about it.

That has to be seen," he said.

When asked about the new government's stand on gay sex, Prasad said, "I will have to examine what is the nature of Supreme Court directions...."

On December 11 last year, an apex court bench had upheld the validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, which criminalised gay sex. The court had said it was open to Parliament to amend the IPC and permit consensual gay sex.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp