Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said that Narendra Modi government is committed to an independent judiciary. “Nobody wishes to undermine judiciary and nobody wants to disrespect it. There is no question of disturbing the independence of judiciary by the government,” Rijiju said at the India News Manch Conclave here.
“We are committed to the independence of judiciary,” the Law Minister further added.
When asked about the former president of Congress Sonia Gandhi’s allegations that the Narendra Modi government is trying to overpower judiciary, Rijiju said, “I was not really upset, but I was amazed by the statement as if we are trying to hijack the judiciary.”
He elaborated that during Indira Gandhi’s tenure government the judiciary was violated again and again. “It happened during the Emergency and on many other occasions. However, you cannot bring even one instance during Narendra Modi’s tenure when the judiciary was undermined.” “This is the culture of Congress party. I challenge Congress that please come out with concrete proofs that we have violated and curtailed judiciary activities. I say, Congress party does not have any moral authority to put allegations against me or our government on this.”
“We are guided by the Constitution of India, but the sovereignty of India lies with the people of India. We get elected and if people do not choose us, we will sit in the opposition. If somebody tries to undermine judiciary, that’s a clear onslaught on the democratic process of the country,” the Law Minister emphatically said.
“In fact, it is just the opposite. We have given utmost respect to the judiciary. We have extended benefits to all retired judges so that they can live a life full of dignity and other support systems. Why we have done so, because we want that judiciary must feel comfortable,” he said. “I have very cordial relationship with the judiciary. Congress wants to disturb that,” the minister added. My recent comment on judiciary in Parliament has been misunderstood and blown out of proportion. “I never said that SC should give priority to only constitutional matters, and petty bail cases can be handled by lower courts. I wanted to mean when it comes to question of liberty, the SC must chip in.”
On the on-going border tussle, Rijiju said that what Modi government has done in border areas has been simply amazing. “I come from a border state. In my childhood there was not connectivity. We have now mobile, great connectivity in those areas. North East and other border areas were so neglected. People from northeast now feel connected,” he said. “So when you talk about Congress allegations, it does not really mean anything. These people are part time politicians. However, we, in BJP work with a mission mode. Both cannot be compared.”