Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said that judiciary must give directions to the executive but it should not interfere with the governance.
“Court must give direction if executive fails, but governance must remain with those who are elected to govern. If those nuances are kept in mind then large number of problems that we encounter would be resolved,” Prasad said at an event by the Supreme Court to mark the Constitution Day celebrations.
“I must remind that the Constitution has always given legislation with the legislature and that must be remain preserved with it,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the law minister rebutted the remarks of the Chief Justice TS Thakur who had lashed out at the Narendra Modi-led government over increasing vacancies at various courts and for not providing adequate infrastructure, charges the Union law minister refuted saying 120 high court judges have been appointed so far.
Justice Thakur had stated that there were 500 judges’ posts lying vacant in high courts while adding that courtrooms are unable to function without judges.
Responding to the CJI’s charges, the law minister said that the government has so far appointed 120 high court judges, adding this is the second highest number of appointments in the history of the country’s judicial system.
“We have got the highest regard for the CJI, but we respectfully disagree with him. This year we have made 120 appointments. This is the second highest after 121 were appointed in 2013. Since 1990 there had only been 80 appointments,” Prasad, who was also present at the event, told the media later.
Prasad also said that the Supreme Court has failed to make the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), a document to guide appointment of judges to higher judiciary, more transparent and reasonable despite repeated requests from the government.
Responding to Justice Thakur’s claim that there is a lack of adequate infrastructure provided to the tribunals, Prasad said, “As far as infrastructure is concerned, it is a continuous process. So many tribunal courts are there. But we need to understand that every retired Supreme Court judge cannot be given the same bungalow of the same size, there is land constraint also.”