BJP govt using high dignitary to run down collegium system: TMC MP in LS
New Delhi: TMC Lok Sabha member Saugata Roy on Thursday alleged that the central government is “using a high dignitary” to run down the collegium system of appointing Supreme Court and high court judges as it wants to extend its powers everywhere, including the judiciary.
Speaking during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha, Roy said the 99th Constitution amendment along with the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was struck down by the top court and as a result the collegium system of appointing judges continued.
“I oppose the comments by the high authority and also by the law minister against the Supreme Court, against the collegium system. And we oppose all efforts to run down the independence of the judiciary which is one of the pillars of the Constitution which this government is trying to bring down,” Roy said.
He said even though the collegium system is not perfect, the Trinamool Congress believes that it should continue as it is a “bigger guarantee against the tyranny of power by the central government”.
He alleged that Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has been “snapping” at the Supreme Court and at the collegium system.
“We did not take him seriously because he is a talkative minister. But now a person in high office who cannot be criticised except by a substantive motion, has come out criticising the striking down of the NJAC law. The government is trying to extend its power everywhere, including into the Judiciary,” Roy said.
Rijiju, who has been attacking the collegium system, has recently described it as “alien” to the Constitution.
Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar, in his maiden speech in the upper house on Wednesday, criticised the judiciary for scrapping the NJAC law, terming it as an instance of “severe compromise of parliamentary sovereignty”, and said the three organs should respect the “Laxman Rekha”.
Dhankhar had expressed similar views on two earlier occasions in the recent past.
Roy said the government is not finding the judiciary “pliable” hence it is using a high dignitary to run down the collegium system.
Former law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was in the House, demanded that Roy’s remarks be removed from the records. Rajendra Agrawal, who was chairing the proceedings, said the Chair will take a call.