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'Deliberately Misled House' : Breach Of Privilege Motion Against Law Minister Over Statement On Judges Appointments

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 July 2021 4:39 AM GMT
Deliberately Misled House : Breach Of Privilege Motion Against Law Minister Over Statement On Judges Appointments
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Alleging that the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju "deliberately misled the house" with his reply on a query related to judges' appointments, a breach of privilege motion has been moved against him.The motion has been moved by Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas of the Communist Party of India(Marxist), who had earlier raised a starred question seeking the details of the number of High Court...

Alleging that the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju "deliberately misled the house" with his reply on a query related to judges' appointments, a breach of privilege motion has been moved against him.

The motion has been moved by Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas of the Communist Party of India(Marxist), who had earlier raised a starred question seeking the details of the number of High Court judges recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for appointment during the last one year, and the number of such recommendations implemented.

In response, the Law Minister had said that the time needed for filling up of vacancies of judges in higher judiciary "cannot be indicated" as it is "a continuous, integrated and collaborative process between the Executive and the Judiciary".

The Minister had also stated that out of 80 proposals from the collegium, 45 proposals have been notified for appointments between 01.07.2020 and 15.07.2021. It was further stated that out of 1098 posts of High Court Judges the present working strength was 645, with 453 posts lying vacant.

According to MP Brittas, this reply constitutes a "breach of privilege", as it is contrary to a Supreme Court order which directed that appointments should be made on the recommendations reiterated by the Supreme Court collegium within 3 or 4 weeks.

"It is reliably learnt that many proposals reiterated by the collegiums are pending with the Government well beyond the stipulated time frame given by the Hon'ble Supreme Court", the motion moved by the MP of the upper house states.

"It is obvious that the action/reply of the Minister is contempt of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and also a breach of privilege as he has deliberately misled the House keeping the House in dark regarding the order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court", the MP adds, requesting the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha to initiate action for breach of privilege against the Law Minister.

The Supreme Court has expressed exasperation at the delay in filling up of the mounting vacancies of High Court judges and has stressed on the need to complete the appointment process in a reasonable time-line.

In April 2021, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had passed an order indicating the time-line for each stage of the appointment process. The Attorney General for India KK Venugopal assured the Court on April 15 this year that collegium recommendations pending with the Union Government for over 6 months will be decided within 3 months.

 In December 2019, a bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph had passed an order stating that the persons recommended by the High Court collegium, which are approved by the Supreme Court Collegium and the Government, should be appointed within 6 months.







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