CPM MP calls Rijiju’s reply on judges’ vacancies ‘misleading’, submits notice to move privilege motion against him

A day after Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha that a time frame for filling up vacancies of judges cannot be indicated as it is continuous, integrated and collaborative process between the Executive and the Judiciary, CPI(M) MP John Brittas submitted a notice for moving a privilege motion against the minister, claiming that his reply was “misleading”.

Rijiju’s reply came after a question from Brittas asking him to provide details of the number of High Court judges recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for appointment during the last one year and how many judges had been appointed out of those recommendations.

Brittas, in his notice, pointed out that the details provided by the Minister shows that “out of 80 proposals from the collegium, only 45 have been notified for appointments between July 1, 2020, and July 15, 2021.

“The reply given by the Minister is in contravention to the order of the Supreme Court wherein the Court specifically says that ‘if the Supreme Court collegium after consideration of the aforesaid inputs, still reiterates the recommendation(s) unanimously, such appointments should be processed and appointment should be made within 3 to 4 weeks’. It is reliably learnt that many proposals reiterated by the collegiums are pending with the Government well beyond the stipulated time frame given by the Supreme Court,” Brittas wrote in his notice.

He added, “The action/reply of the Minister is in contempt of the Supreme Court and also a breach of privilege as he has deliberately misled the House keeping the House in dark regarding the order of the Supreme Court.”

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