BJP government locking horns with Supreme Court: Former judge MB Lokur

Taking strong objection to the Centre’s interference in the functioning of the Supreme Court, former Judge MB Lokur said it was not good for the democracy and people of the country. Union minister for justice Kiran Rijiju had asked the Supreme Court not to entertain Bails and Public Interest Litigations (PILs).

This has come in for sharp criticism from the judiciary. The Centre is also contemplating to replace the existing collegium system with a National Judicial Appointments Commission usurping the powers of the Supreme Court for appointing judges favourable to the BJP.

Supreme Court former Judge Mr Lokur observed that the collegium system is good and it needs some corrections. It should be transparent while appointing judges to High Courts about their qualifications and other criteria. He sought to know how the central government can ask the Supreme Court not to entertain bails. Does it want the people to die in prisons?

Mr Lokur said any conspiracy or attempt to remove the autonomy of the Supreme Court will not succeed. Even with the Constitutional amendment, the centre cannot dilute the Supreme Court’s autonomy as it is the very basic structure of the Constitution.

The justice asked the centre not to have any confrontation with the Supreme Court as it is not good for the people and democracy. He pointed out that the centre had delayed the clearance of appointment of High Court judges recommended by the collegium for nearly six months only to show its power. It is not a healthy practice in democracy, he pointed out.

By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao

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