Narendra Modi’s government appears to have waged an all-out war against the autonomy of the judiciary in the appointment of judges. He doesn’t care what the judiciary says or what is publicly thought outside his constituency. The collegiate system of appointing judges has now been attacked by law minister Kiren Rijuju by using a former judge’s statement as a cover. Former Delhi High Court judge RS Sodhi had said that the Supreme Court had hijacked the constitution by issuing its verdict on the collegium. Rijuju has supported this statement saying that those who ignore the constitution and the mandate consider themselves above the constitution. Naturally, the target is the entire judiciary, but especially the current Chief Justice DY Chandrachud. Chandrachud recently disagreed with Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar’s statement that the concept of the basic structure of the constitution was being questioned.
Justice Chandrachud has said that infrastructure is like the North Star, guiding us. Apart from this, it has recently recommended the appointment of senior lawyer Saurabh Kripal as a judge. The first recommendation was not adopted by the government. The government put forward two grounds for objection. The first is that Saurabh is gay. Second, his partner is a citizen of Switzerland. But the collegium rejected both objections. Incidentally, the government has objected to the names of two more judges included in the recommendation of the collegium. One of them is Somashekhar Sundarshan, who is proposed to become a judge in Bombay High Court. The other is R John Sathyan, who has been recommended for elevation as a judge in the Madras High Court. The Center also has reservations about both. So he returned their names. Prior to this, Rijuju has written a letter to the Supreme Court demanding that the representative of the government be admitted to the collegium. It is clear that the government is pushing the matter to the end.