Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday dismissed the narratives that government turning down Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph elevation was anyway linked to the imposition of President’s Rule in the state. He said that the government has the right to seek reconsideration of proposals sent by the Supreme Court collegium as the power flows from three apex court judgements.
“I wish to deny with all authority at my command that it has nothing to do with it (Justice Joseph’s decision) at all, for two obvious reasons. Firstly, a proper (BJP-led) government with nearly three-fourth majority has been elected in Uttarakhand. Secondly, that order was confirmed by Justice (J.S.) Khehar of the Supreme Court,” Prasad said in response to a media query. Also Read: Supreme Court Collegium defers decision on Justice Joseph’s elevation
“Justice Khehar was the judge who also set aside the National Judicial Commission initiative of the government. Yet he became the Chief Justice of India during the BJP-led NDA government. I think that by itself is (proof) enough,” Prasad said.
The government had on April 26 asked the Supreme Court collegium to reconsider its recommendation to elevate Justice Joseph to the apex court, saying the elevation may not be “appropriate”. Also Read: The judiciary is being undermined on multiple fronts
The collegium again met today but deferred a decision on the issue. The five-member Collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph met after the top court’s working hours, but no decision was taken. After the decision on Joseph’s elevation was deferred, the ruling BJP alleged that some political parties and individuals are constantly “scrutinising and commenting” on collegium meetings and trying to influence its decision making process, whereas the judiciary and its functioning should not be politicised.
“Our approach is that the entire process and functioning of the judiciary and issues related to it should not be politicised or motives constantly alluded to it. It is unfortunate that some political parties and individuals are persisting to do,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said while speaking on the collegium’s decision.
(With PTI inputs)