'Comments Against Collegium Not Well Taken' : Supreme Court Asks AG To Advise Govt Functionaries To Exercise Control
Amidst the ongoing differences between the Central Government and the Judiciary over collegium system, the Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed disapproval of the comments made by the government functionaries against the collegium system.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, AS Oka and Vikram Nath was hearing a contempt petition filed against the Centre for not approving the collegium recommendations within the time lines laid down by the Court. During the hearing, the bench was informed of certain comments made by "people holding constitutional posts" against the collegium system.
While urging the court to issue a writ of mandamus or initiate contempt proceedings against the government for sitting on the recommendations beyond the permissible period, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh said, "Persons in constitutional posts are saying the Supreme Court does not have the power to exercise judicial review. That is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. It is a little upsetting."
It may be noted that Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, on two occasions - in his maiden Rajya Sabha speech yesterday and at a public function last week- had criticised the Supreme Court's judgment overturning the NJAC. The Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju had also been making several public statements criticising the collegium system, which the Supreme Court disapprovingly took note of during the last hearing.
"Tomorrow people will say basic structure is also not a part of Constitution," Justice Kaul responded to SCBA President's comments.
During the hearing, Justice Vikram Nath urged the Attorney General to advise the government functionaries to exercise restraint.
"Mr. Singh is referring to speeches...which is not very good for...making comments on the Supreme Court collegium is not very well taken. You have to advise them to control their..." , Justice Nath said.
For detailed report on the hearing, refer this report - 'Collegium System Is The Law Of The Land, Must Be Followed' : Supreme Court Tells Centre; Asks AG To Advise Govt Of The Legal Position