After government, RSS mouthpiece criticises Collegium system

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat. File
| Photo Credit: PTI

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) mouthpiece Panchjanya has carried a seven-page cover story on the Collegium system, criticising the way appointments and transfers of judges are being done in India.

The cover story titled “ Me Lord Ka, Me lord Dwara, Me Lord ke Liye (Of my Lord, By my Lord, For My Lord)“ in the magazine’s upcoming edition, quoted an article published in an English daily that said, “50% of judges in high courts and 33% in the Supreme Court are either direct or distant relatives of officiating judges”.

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The article also spoke about how a Supreme Court judge supported the Emergency call by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and how the same judge criticised her when the Janta Party government came to power. It alleged that the “Indian judiciary was under the influence of ‘communists’ and the Congress”.

Panchjanya’s article comes almost a month after Law Minister Kiren Rijiju expressed his displeasure over the Collegium system of appointing judges. In an event organised by Panchjanya, the Minister had said that “as per the spirit of the Constitution, executive should be given the responsibilities to appoint judges”.

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“As Law Minister, I have seen that half of the time, judges in the top courts are thinking about the appointments of other judges. In no country, the judges decide the judges,” the magazine quoted Mr. Rijiju as saying. It added that the Law Minister had said that the “Collegium system is foreign”.

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar recently expressed displeasure with the Collegium system and this is also quoted in the article. The article mentioned how Mr. Dhankhar had stated that “the SC had undone the Act which was passed in the Lok Sabha with full majority and the same was never challenged in the Rajya Sabha”. “Understand what I am not saying,” the magazine further quoted Mr. Dhankhar.

The article also claimed that the judiciary was losing “interest” on the ground level. The article has quotes from Justice (Retd.) Pramod Kohli, Justice (Retd.) P.N. Ravindran, senior advocates Bharti Raju, Harish Salve, and Dushyant Dave to name a few.

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