Over 300 lawyers call out Kiren Rijiju for ‘anti-India gang’ remarks
Over 300 lawyers of the Supreme Court and high courts criticised Kiren Rijiju for his recent statement that some retired judges are “part of an anti-India gang”.
More than 300 lawyers of the Supreme Court and high courts criticised Union law minister Kiren Rijiju for his recent statement that some retired judges are “part of an anti-India gang”.
In an open letter, the lawyers on Wednesday demanded that the Union minister should withdraw the comments.
“We, the undersigned lawyers practising in diverse courts around the nation, deprecate the unwarranted attack launched against retired judges of the Supreme Court of India by Union Law Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, at a conclave telecast live by a media house. The allegations of anti-nationalism against people who have dedicated their lives to upholding the rule of law, and the naked threat of reprisals against them, marks a new low in the public discourse of our great nation,” the letter reads.
The letter referred to Rijiju's statement at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi on March 18 where he had raised what the minister called “a calibrated effort” to undermine the Indian judiciary and turn it against the government.
“Recently, there was a seminar on the accountability of judges. But somehow the entire seminar became about how the executive is affecting the judiciary. It is a few of the retired judges - maybe three or four - a few of those activists, part of the anti-India gang. These people are trying to make the Indian judiciary play the role of the opposition party. How can these people openly say the Indian judiciary (should) take the government head on?” Rijiju had said.
Replying to a question on the action taken by the government in this regard, he said, “Agencies will take action as per the provisions of law. Nobody will escape. Those who have worked against the country will have to pay a price for that.”
Among the 323 signatories include senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal, Arvind Datar, Iqbal Chagla, Janak Dwarakadas, Sri Hari Aney, Raju Ramachandran, Dushyant Dave, Indira Jaising, Rajshekhar Rao, and Sanjay Singhvi.
Condemning the remarks by saying that the law minister “pointedly threatened” the retired Supreme Court judges and he “transgressed all limits of constitutional propriety”, the letter added that Rijiju is sworn to uphold and bear true allegiance to the Constitution and as a minister of law and justice. “It is his duty to protect the judicial system, the judiciary, and the judges, both past and present," it read.