3 years

His Honour

Much ado about nothing

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A divide between the executive and the judiciary?
Chief Justice RM Lodha’s criticism of the Narendra Modi Government over the rejection of the proposal to elevate Gopal Subramanium as a judge of the Supreme Court is being described as a sign of a divide between the Executive and Judiciary. The ruling side’s rivals went to the extent of terming the Government’s decision petty.

While there is a case for harmonious relations between various arms of the state, the Government cannot be faulted for exercising its right to have its say in matters such as selection of judges. When the Government turned down the collegium’s proposal, it was not engaging in any blasphemous act. Thanks to two apex court judgments in the 1990s, the Government can intervene in the selection of an appropriate person for the job as it is ‘one of the consultees in the appointment process’. Given this backdrop, it would be a stretch to argue that the Government’s action was a transgression of norms guaranteeing the independence of the Judiciary.