Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday alleged that a few retired judges and some activists who are part of "anti-India gang" are attempting to make the Indian judiciary function as the opposition party.
The minister said that the judiciary is neutral and pointed out that he shared an excellent relationship with the chief justice of India, the present one, the last one and all the judges of the Supreme Court.
“It is a few of the retired judges – maybe three or four – a few of those activists, part of the anti-India gang – these people are trying to make Indian judiciary play the role of the opposition party," he said while speaking at the India Today Conclave 2023.
“Some people also go to the court and say please rein in the government, please change the policy of the government . These people want the judiciary to play the role of the opposition party, which cannot happen,” he added.
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The minister stated that the judiciary is neutral, and judges are not affiliated with any group or political affiliation. Rijiju wondered how these individuals could openly say that the Indian judiciary should confront the government head-on. He stated that the judiciary's role is to remain neutral and not play the role of the opposition party.
Rijiju criticized the collegium system for appointing judges, stating that it is a result of the Congress party's "misadventure."
Rijiju also criticized Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on democracy in India, stating that the same language used by the "anti-India gang" is used by Rahul Gandhi. According to the minister, the same ecosystem is working both in and outside India, publicizing whatever Rahul Gandhi says with a "louder voice." Rijiju went on to say that he will not allow the "tukde-tukde gang" to destroy India's sovereignty and integrity.
“Anti-India forces in India and outside India, they use the same language – democracy is in danger, human rights are non-existent in India. What this anti-India gang says, the same language is used by Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
He alleged that whatever Rahul Gandhi says is publicised with a “louder voice” by the “same ecosystem”.
"The same ecosystem is working in India and outside India. We will not allow this ‘tukde-tukde gang’ to destroy our integrity, our sovereignty,” the law minister asserted.
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When asked if any action was being taken against these individuals, Rijiju responded that actions are being taken as per law and that no one will escape. Regarding the appointment of judges, Rijiju stated that the judiciary has no role in initiating and finalizing the appointment of judges. He claimed that the Supreme Court began to act, which some people described as judicial overreach, due to the Congress party's "misadventure." The collegium system was created as a result, and Rijiju asserted that the government will follow it until a new system is introduced.
Rijiju also spoke about a recent seminar in Delhi, where the topic was accountability in judges' appointment. He alleged that the discussion throughout the day was about how the government is taking over the judiciary.