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No confrontation with judiciary: Govt

india Updated: Dec 23, 2008 00:15 IST
Nagendar Sharma

Breaking its silence on the recent promotion of three high court judges to the Supreme Court despite objections by the Prime Minister, the government on Monday said it did not want any confrontation with the judiciary.

"There is no conflict between the government and the judiciary. However, there have been demands from certain quarters for reconsideration of the law laid down for appointments and promotions of judges," Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj said in the Rajya Sabha.

This is for the first time that the government has spoken out on the issue, which was widely perceived as its serious most confrontation with the judiciary in 15 years, since the present system for judges' promotions and appointments came into existence.

The controversy began in October when the Supreme Court panel responsible for the appointments and transfers of judges had recommended the names of chief justices of Madras, Patna and Kerala high courts - Justices A.K. Ganguly, R.M. Lodha and H.L. Dattu - for promotion to the apex court.

HT had first reported on October 27 that the panel had ignored senior judges for promotion and recommended the names of junior judges.

In an unprecedented move, the government had refused to endorse the recommendations and pointed out that the three names sent by the panel for promotion were junior to many other judges "eligible for elevation to the Supreme Court".

The Prime Minister's Office had also asked the Chief Justice of India to take into account state-wise and gender representation of judges in the apex court. But the Supreme Court panel did not accept the government's view and sent back the same names for the second time, which were then accepted earlier this month. The three judges were finally sworn in as apex court judges last week.