Irked by the Supreme Court observations on reservation not being a fundamental right, Dalit MPs across party lines met at Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s residence recently and favoured the creation of an Indian Judicial Service (IJS) with reservation.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Paswan said: “All the MPs who attended the meeting demanded reservation in the judiciary and the creation of an Indian Judicial Service because whenever a matter related to the weaker sections goes to the Court, it gets stuck.”
“Article 312 of the Constitution provides for the creation of an all-India Judicial Service. It should be on the lines of Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service and the selection process of the Indian Judicial Service should be transparent through a competitive examination with proper reservation”, Paswan added.
When asked if he supported the MPs idea, Paswan said, “I support the creation of Indian Judicial Service on two counts: first, it should have transparency because the present system of collegium lacks it; and, second, it will have representation of all sections of the society.”
Asked if he would discuss the demand of the IJS with the Union Law Ministry, he said: “The matter has gone forward. The Centre has given a positive reply about the Indian Judicial Service in Parliament. The Government is seriously considering the proposal.”
Paswan, who is the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said: “All Dalit MPs unanimously demanded that the creation of Indian Judicial Service. They also demanded necessary steps to nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling which says that states are not bound to provide reservation in promotion and appointments in public employment and also that quota is not a fundamental right.”
“No one can end reservation. Yeh patthar ki lakir hai (it’s a line etched in stone). Now it has been extended to the poor sections of the upper castes also. So, now no one can end reservation”, Paswan said.
“All MPs were of view that either the Government should bring an ordinance or enact a law as done in case of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Whether a Constitutional amendment or a separate law is required it should take all the necessary steps”, Paswan said.
“Our party is also contemplating filing a petition seeking a review of the recent SC ruling on reservation in appointments and promotions in the government jobs”, he added.
The LJP patriarch had called a meeting of SC and SC MPs on February 10 which was attended by about 70 MPs including half a dozen ministers of the NDA Government. Opposition MPs who attended the meeting included A Raja of DMK; Rajendra Gavit of Shiv Sena among others. Union Ministers who attended the meeting include Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal.
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