Claiming that the Centre is confronting judiciary, the Congress party alleged blocking of appointment of judges in higher judiciary. Elaborating on the vacancies of judges in several high courts across the country, Congress party’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma claimed the incumbent BJP-led NDA government was “very angry” after the Supreme Court’s decision quashing the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), a charge which was strongly refuted by the Centre.
“…for the last one year, the collegium, the CJI, they have made recommendations to the government, but after the NJAC judgment, the government seems to be very angry and on path of confrontation with the collegium of the Supreme Court,” Sharma said.
The Supreme Court had in October last year declared as unconstitutional the law brought by the government to replace the over two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary and quashed the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act.
“Therefore, the attempt of this government is to block appointments and force a situation where the memorandum of procedure of appointments (MoP) as proposed by collegium of Supreme Court is diluted so that people owing allegiance to particular ideology, people having certain leanings, will get accommodated,” Sharma said during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha.
Referring to the incident of Chief Justice of India TS Thakur breaking down in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the senior Congress leader said “months have passed but the Prime Minister is unmoved”.
“PM has not taken any action, nor his government… when will these vacancies be filled so that poor people can get justice,” Sharma said.
However, the Centre strongly refuted the charges made by the principal opposition party.
Former Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said “the matter raised by Anand Sharma is far away from the truth. After NJAC verdict, the government itself went to the CJI. I myself went to the CJI. I said that the new MoP will take some time for finalisation…
“Last year, 31 new appointments have been made to High Courts. This year from January to April, 51 appointments have been done and 87 ad hoc Judges have been appointed,” the former law minister apprised the Upper House of Parliament.
Around 470 judges’ posts were vacant in 24 High Courts across the country as of today, which is a serious issue, the Congress party had told earlier in the day.
(With inputs from the PTI)