Citing former vice president M Venkaiah Naidu's remarks in 2020 that none of the three organs of the state: Legislature, judiciary, and executive can claim to be supreme, and it is the Constitution that is supreme, the Congress on Friday slammed Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar's comments on the judiciary on Friday.
The Vice President has landed in the controversy after his statement on Wednesday "one-upmanship and public posturing" from judicial platforms is not good and these institutions must know how to conduct themselves. The remarks came during Dhankar's address at the 83rd All-India Officer’s conference on Wednesday in Jaipur. Dhankhar's virtual censure of the judiciary had come following the apex court's remarks on the issue of the collegium system.
Stepping up the party's attack over the issue, Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh tweeted, "Mr. Chidambaram has pointedly countered the Vice President's assault on the judiciary by saying the Constitution and not Parliament is supreme. Just a year ago, Mr. Dhankar's predecessor Venkaiah Naidu-Garu had said exactly what Mr. Chidambaram has."
Ramesh tagged an official release of Naidu's remarks at the inaugural session of the 80th All India Conference of Presiding Officers at Kevadia, Gujarat, in November 2020. In his remarks, Naidu said none of the three organs of the 'state' can claim to be supreme as only the Constitution is supreme and the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary are bound to work within the respective domains as defined in the Constitution.
Chidambaram on Wednesday had said Rajya Sabha Chairman Dhankhar is wrong when he says that Parliament is supreme as it is the Constitution that is supreme. The "basic structure" doctrine was evolved in order to prevent a majoritarian-driven assault on the foundational principles of the Constitution, the former Union minister had said.
Dhankar again criticized the scrapping of the NJAC Act in 2015 at the conference and questioned the landmark 1973 Kesavananda Bharati case verdict, saying it set a wrong precedent and that he disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling that Parliament can amend the Constitution but not its basic structure.
(With PTI inputs)