V-P Jagdeep Dhankhar sides with Parliament for constitutional evolution
He was addressing an event to release a memoir of former Tamil Nadu governor PS Ramamohan Rao
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said the evolution of the Constitution should take place through Parliament and no other 'super body' or institution, including judiciary, has any role in it. He was addressing an event to release a memoir of former Tamil Nadu governor PS Ramamohan Rao and added that the Parliament is the exclusive architect of the Constitution.
“A constitution has to evolve from the people through Parliament, not from the executive. The executive has no role in evolving the Constitution and no other institution including judiciary. The Constitution evolution has to take place in Parliament and there can be no super body to look into that...it has to end with Parliament,” Dhankhar said.
Also read: Kiren Rijiju blames Cong, SC for judges appointing judges
The Vice President's comments came at a time when there is a tussle between the government and judiciary over the appointment of judges in high courts and the Supreme Court. Union law and justice minister Kiren Rijiju has recently invoked a constitutional ‘Lakshman rekha’ on legislative-executive-judiciary relationship, in response to the apex court's verdict on the appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC) and election commissioners by a panel consisting the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha till a law is placed.
“The appointment of election commissioners is prescribed in the Constitution. Parliament has to enact a law. Accordingly, the appointment has to be done. I agree that there is no enactment for that in Parliament, there is a vacuum..But what I am saying is that if the CJI or judges of India sit on every important appointment, who will carry forward the judiciary's work?” Rijiju asked earlier.
V-P Dhankhar said that his statement is made ‘without fear of contradiction’ and claimed that he studied constituent assembly debates and examined constitutions of countries where ‘democracy blossoms and flourishes’.
On Saturday, CJI DY Chandrachud put up a stout defence of the collegium system that is used to appoint high court and top court judges.
In the Indian democracy, the Constitution is considered supreme and it provides a separation of powers to each institution, namely legislative, executive and judiciary. Article 13(2) of the Constitution discusses about judicial review to ensure a law made in the Parliament doesn't contradict the constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights as guaranteed in Part III.
(with PTI inputs)