Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
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If Government Doesn't Clear A Name For Judgeship, It Has A Valid Reason: Kiren Rijiju In Lok Sabha

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given him clear directions that he should work on a fast pace on appointment of judges.

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Kiren Rijiju speaks in the Lok Sabha (Representational Image) PTI Photo

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said the government has not delayed any appointment of judges to Supreme Court or high courts, and asserted that if it does not clear a name for judgeship, it has a valid reason behind it.

He also said that the government never stops any particular person from becoming a judge and indicated that there no deliberate intention behind it.

Responding to a debate on Family Courts (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, the minister said if a name is recommended and the government thinks the person is not fit to be a judge, then the government will not clear the name.

"If you want us to sign, we cannot," the minister said. He was responding to questions raised by members of the House on judges appointment.

Asserting that the government follows the process of due diligence, he said the government is "very careful" in appointment of Supreme Court (SC) and high court (HC) judges. At the same time, he said the government wants the vacancies in the higher judiciary should go down.

Rijiju said the government has the system of checking the background of a candidate recommended to be appointed as a judge. The Supreme Court Collegium, he said, does not have that system of background check.

"The background of the candidate is with us. We give suggestions to the collegium," he said. "We have not delayed appointment (of judges). But any name we have not signed, there is a valid reason," he said.

Rijiju said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given him clear directions that he should work on a fast pace on appointment of judges. He said the prime minister has told him that he or the collegium can be consulted if need be, but he should go ahead with the process of appointments.

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