Chandrachud, There’s No Mahabharat, Says Union Minister Kiren Rijiju

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A day after he shared the video clip of a retired High Court judge saying that the Supreme Court had “hijacked” the Constitution, amid the current face-off over the appointment of judges, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said Monday that there was no “Mahabharat” between the Government and the judiciary — and there will be “debate and discussion” in a democracy.Speaking at an event at the Tiz Hazari courts in Delhi, the Law Minister also said that he has “live contact” with Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju during a ceremony to pay floral tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 126th birth anniversary, at the Central Hall of Parliament House (PTI Photo)

“From small to complex issues, we discuss everything,” he said.During his speech, Rijiju referred to a letter written by former CJI N V Ramana on criticism of judges on social media and said judges are careful while delivering verdicts that could draw a strong public reaction.However, he said, unlike politicians, a “judge does not have to face an election again”.On Sunday, escalating the standoff over the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, Rijiju had shared on Twitter an interview clip of former Delhi High Court Judge R S Sodhi saying that the “Supreme Court has, for the first time, hijacked the Constitution…it said we will appoint the judges and that the government will have no role in this”. The Law Minister tweeted that a “majority of the people have similar sane viewsThe tweets were posted days after the Supreme Court Collegium headed by the CJI made public its reasons for reiteration and the Government’s objections for the appointment of at least three advocates as High Court judges.Speaking at the Tiz Hazari event Monday, Rijiju referred to the letter from ex-CJI Ramana and said, “Even judges are a bit careful these days. They won’t deliver judgments which could cause a strong reaction in the society. After all, a judge is also a human being and it (public opinion) affects him, too. There is a direct impact of (social media scrutiny) on judges.”The former CJI, he said, had sought a law to deal with criticism of judges on social media. Rijiju said you cannot do anything when a “vast number of people” have access to social media.

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