Union Law minister Kiren Rijiju has taken a dim view of the Supreme Court making public the Centre’s objections to three names recommended by the Collegium for appointment as High Court judges.
Terming the Supreme Court’s actions as a matter of grave concern, Rijiju said he will address the issue at an appropriate time.
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“Putting secret reports in the public domain is a matter of grave concern. But I will speak about this at an appropriate time… If the concerned officer who is working for the nation in disguise or in secret will think twice that his report may also be put in the public domain and that will have implications,” the minister said.
Rijiju’s statement comes amid an ongoing tussle between the Supreme Court and the central government on the issue of the appointment of judges. While the Centre has been openly critical of the Collegium system of appointments, citing lack of transparency, the apex court has repeatedly faulted the government for the delay in clearing the recommendations sent by the Collegium.
The Supreme Court has also brushed aside the Centre’s critique of the Collegium system of appointments, terming it the “law of the land”.
The Law minister’s remark Tuesday came in reference to the SC Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, making public its reasons for reiteration as well as the government’s objections to three of the five advocates recommended for elevation as High Court judges.
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The reasons cited by the Centre, revealed by the SC Collegium, include a candidate’s sexual orientation and his “foreign-national” partner; an advocate’s critical post on Prime Minister Narendra Modi; another’s views on social media critical of the government, The Indian Express had reported.
The five candidates whose names have been reiterated by the SC Collegium for appointment as HC judges include senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal for Delhi High Court; advocate Somsekhar Sundaresan for Bombay High Court; advocate John Satyan for the Madras High Court; and advocates Sakya Sen and Amitesh Banerjee as judges of the Calcutta High Court.