On the judges’ appointment issue, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday took the government’s argument forward seeking a broader say in it. Citing comments by a former judge to underscore the government’s view, he said such “sane” voice must be considered. Retired Delhi High Court judge RS Sodhi said, “The Supreme Court has hijacked the constitution for the first time. They said we will appoint [judges] ourselves. The government will have no role in this.” Justice Sodhi said this in an interview with LawStreet Bharat YouTube channel. “High courts are not subservient to the Supreme Court [but] high court judges start looking at the Supreme Court and become subservient,” he said, explaining why he feels that the system of a panel of Supreme Court judges, called the collegium, appointing judges for the high courts and Supreme Courts does not work. Posting the clip of the interview on his Twitter handle, Mr Rijiju wrote, “Voice of a judge… Real beauty of Indian Democracy is its success. People rule themselves through their representatives. Elected representatives represent the interests of the people and laws. Our judiciary is independent, and our constitution is supreme.” “Actually, majority of the people have similar sane views. It’s only those people who disregard the provisions of the Constitution and mandate of the people think that they are above the Constitution of India,” he added. Amid the face-off, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud for his remark to make Supreme Court judgments available in regional languages. PM Modi shared a video of the CJI speaking at an event where he advocated translation of the apex court’s judgments in every Indian language and leveraging technology for the purpose. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister said, “At a recent function, the CJI Justice D.Y. Chandrachud spoke of the need to work towards making SC judgments available in regional languages. He also suggested the use of technology for it. This is a laudatory thought, which will help many people, particularly youngsters.” PM said the government is making efforts to make technical education like medicine and engineering also available in regional languages. “India has several languages, which add to our cultural vibrancy. The Central government is undertaking numerous efforts to encourage Indian languages including giving the option of studying subjects like engineering and medicine in one’s Matru Bhasha,” he added. Speaking at the Facilitation function by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, CJI Chandrachud said, “The next step in our mission is to provide translated copies of the judgements of the Supreme Court in every Indian language. What good it is to a rural litigant who does not understand the tenour and language tenacity in English. So unless we reach out to our citizens in a language which they can understand, in a manner which they can comprehend.”
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