Ruling out any confrontation between the judiciary and executive as implied by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today said both these pillars of democracy are working together to resolve issues concerning the appointment of judges.
"The government is not waiting for the new practise of collegium (Memorandum of Procedure) but has started appointing judges in high courts and the Supreme Court," Gowda told a meet-the-press programme.
The memorandum of procedure regarding appointment of judges to HCs and SC was sent to Chief Justice T S Thakur by Gowda in March.
However, the Supreme Court collegium which examined the revised memorandum is learnt to have objected, earlier this month, to a clause in which the government reserves the right to reject a recommendation on concerns of national interest.
The clause is contrary to the current practice where government is bound to accept a recommendation by the collegium, which comprises four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and the CJI, if it reiterates it.
Responding to a query on Jaitley's remarks on judicial overreach, Gowda said, "There is no confrontation between the executive and judiciary which are among the four pillars of democracy. They (executive and judiciary) are rather working together to resolve the issues concerning the appointment of judges as well."
Jaitley had recently stated that the judiciary must draw its own "Lakshmanrekha" and not take decisions which fall in the domain of the executive.
Gowda, who was in the city to meet senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on his 59th birthday, said a total of 51 judges to High Courts and 2 judges to the Supreme Court have been appointed through the collegium recently.
On the pendency of cases in various courts, Gowda said, "There has been a reduction of cases, from 66,000 three years ago to 58,000 cases now, and the government is promoting the alternative dispute redressal (ADR) system to minimise the pendency".
He said the government was also keen on effective functioning of Lok Adalats and according due importance to the same.
Gowda said the government was acting on a research report of the National Law School, New Delhi, to curtail the number of national tribunals from 36 to 17 in due course.
On the second anniversary of Narendra Modi government, he said the NDA dispensation was doing well on all fronts even as he dismissed allegations of failure leveled by the opposition.
"During his visit to 38 countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has projected India's image in a positive way and enhanced the reputation of the country. India and Indians are most respected now after the BJP came to power two years ago," the minister added.