The Bombay Lawyers Association has filed a plea in the Bombay High Court against Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar and Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju for their remarks against the Judiciary and Collegium System, claiming that both “lowered the prestige of the Supreme Court in public”.
The Public Interest Litigation filed by the BLA through its chairman Ahmed Abidi sought a declaration from the high court that the Law Minister and Vice President have disqualified themselves from holding the constitutional post by expressing a lack of faith in the Constitution of India.
“The Vice President and the Law Minister have launched a frontal attack on the institution of the judiciary particularly Supreme Court in the most insulting and derogatory language without using any recourse which is available under the constitutional scheme to change the status quo as per the law laid down by the Supreme Court,” the plea stated.
The plea also stated that despite the attack on the Constitution and Judiciary by the Law Minister and Vice President no action was taken against them.
“The Petitioner states that the above conduct of Respondent No. 1 and 2 is nothing limited to an attack on the judiciary but a frontal attack on the Constitution of India. Despite all these derogatory statements towards the judiciary and the Constitution of India, no action against the Respondent No. 1 and 2 has been taken by any constitutional authority.”
It also demanded that the HC restrain the Vice President and the Law Minister from discharging their duties.
While Rijiju has repeatedly questioned the Collegium system, last month, Dhankhar had also commented on the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 judgment in the Kesavananda Bharati case in which it ruled that Parliament had the authority to amend the Constitution but not its basic structure.
“It will be difficult to answer the question ‘are we a democratic nation’, Dhankar had said.
Rijiju, in November last year had said he has to work with the present system until the government comes up with an alternative mechanism, stating that the Collegium system of appointing judges is “opaque” and “not accountable”.
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