Law minister cites ‘Lakshman Rekha’

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju today invoked the constitutional “Lakshman Rekha”. (document)

New Delhi:

Justice Minister Kirin Ridjiju today invoked the constitutional “Lakshman Rekha” to guide different agencies, including the executive and judiciary, and wondered who would carry out the judiciary if judges were to be part of the executive appointment.

Mr Rijiju was on the bench of the Supreme Court to answer a question directing the government to form a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons to select the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioner pending the introduction of the law .

“The constitution provides for the appointment of electoral commissioners. Parliament has to make laws. Therefore, appointments have to be made. I agree that parliament has not made laws for this, there is a vacuum,” the minister told India Today conclave.

Mr Rijiju said he was not criticizing the Supreme Court decision or talking about its “impact” or what the government would do on the issue.

“…but I mean, if the CJI or the judges in India hold every major appointment, who is going to move the judiciary forward? There is so much administration in the country. So we have to see that the judges are mainly in the Judicial work is done there. They are there to deliver judicial orders by delivering justice for the people,” he said.

The minister believes that if judges intervene in administrative work, they will have to face criticism. If a judge ends up hearing a case in which he or she is involved, the principles of justice are compromised, he said.

“Suppose you are the chief justice or a judge. You are part of the administrative process and this will be challenged. The matter comes to your court. Can you pass judgment on the matter in which you are involved? The principles of justice themselves will be compromised. That is why Lakshman Rekha It’s very clear in the constitution,” Mr Rijiju said.

In a landmark ruling aimed at shielding the appointments of the CEC and electoral commissioners from administrative interference, the Supreme Court ruled that their appointments will be made by the president on the advice of a committee comprising the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Lok Sabha and CJI.

In a unanimous ruling announced earlier this month, five constitutional judges, led by Justice KM Joseph, held that the norm will remain in force until Parliament enacts a law on the issue.

There will be a vacancy in the Election Commission early next year when Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey will step down on February 14 at the age of 65.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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