HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Govt defends action in SC judge row

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 03, 2014
First Published: 00:29 IST(3/7/2014) | Last Updated: 00:31 IST(3/7/2014)

The government on Wednesday dug its heels in the Gopal Subramanium controversy and for the first time said that its act was based on “cogent and sound ground”.

“In the process of appointment of judges, let me say that the government has the right to be consulted. Whatever we did was based on cogent and sound ground,” law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Prasad also added that the Modi government had highest regard and respect for the judiciary and the Chief Justice of India.

This came after CJI RM Lodha statement on Tuesday that he “took exception” that way government segregated Subramanium’s candidature from the other three names recommended by the collegium for appointment as a Supreme Court judge. The CJI publicly went on to say that it was a unilateral decision without his knowledge.

Reacting on the CJI’s outburst, Prasad said he wished to refrain from talking on the issue as the law minister. He asserted the government’s admiration for the judiciary and the CJI. However, Prasad also pointed out that the government had the right to be consulted in such appointment process.

“I have no comment to make. But I want to reiterate very firmly that the Narendra Modi government has the highest respect for the judiciary. The independence of the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, is an article of faith for the government. We have the highest respect for the Chief Justice of India,” Prasad said.

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