On Rijiju's 'Supreme Court should not take up bail plea', opposition's attack: 'Does he even know...'

Dec 15, 2022 06:41 PM IST

Union law minister Kiren Rijiju said given the pendency of cases, Supreme Court should not deal with bail pleas. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said, "Does he even know the meaning of liberty?"

Opposition leaders lashed out at the comment of Union law minister and MP Kiren Rijiju as he said the apex court should not be hearing bail pleas and frivolous PILs at a time when the pendency of cases is so high. Rijiju said this in the Rajya Sabha during a debate on a bill to rename the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre as the India International Arbitration Centre which was passed on Wednesday by the Rajya Sabha.

Union law miniter Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said in the Rajya Sabha that Supreme Court should not deal with bail pleas. (PTI)
Union law miniter Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said in the Rajya Sabha that Supreme Court should not deal with bail pleas. (PTI)

"I have made certain remarks in a good gesture to the Supreme Court of India that you take up those cases which are relevant. If Supreme Court starts hearing bail applications or frivolous PILs, it will cause lots of extra burden," Rijiju said.

"More than 4 crore cases are pending in trial courts where the government has a stake. We give money, support to create better infrastructure. But we have to ask the judiciary to ensure that only deserving people are given justice," Rijiju said.

The comment triggered reactions from the opposition leaders and Congress MP Manish Tewari said clearly the law minister had "other pressing preoccupations" than law. "He perhaps has never read Justice Krishna Aiyer's seminal treatise -- bail, not jail is the rule. How else can a law minister say SC should not hear bail pleas," Manish Tewari tweeted.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal questioned: "Does he even know the meaning of liberty?"

Congress leader Salman Khurshid tweeted, "Forget NJAC, Govt wants to micromanage judiciary: cut vacations, no priority to bail, et al. What next?"

On Thursday, Rijiju said in Parliament the issue of high judicial vacancies will keep coming up until the procedure of the appointment of judges changes.

Trinamool's Saket Gokhale said this comment is a direct assault on the independence of the Judiciary. "Law Minister @KirenRijiju is basically saying that vacancies for judges won’t be filled up unless Modi govt is allowed to appoint its own people as judges. Beyond brazen & another attempt to capture institutions," he said.

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