Rijiju loses law ministry, Arjun Ram Meghwal to replace him | Latest News India

    Union minister Kiren Rijiju has been divested of the law and justice portfolio and assigned that of the earth sciences ministry, Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a communique on Thursday.

    Union minister Kiren Rijiju. (HT PHOTO)

    Arjun Ram Meghwal has been assigned the independent charge as minister of state in the ministry of law and justice in addition to his existing portfolios in place of Rijiju.

    Meghwal, who is from poll-bound Rajasthan, is also of minister of state for parliamentary affairs and culture. He is a former bureaucrat and a prominent Scheduled Caste face of the BJP in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, where polls are due to be held later this year. A three-time Member of Parliament from Bikaner, he is known for championing the cause of the environment. He is often seen cycling to Parliament.

    Minister of state for law and justice SP Singh Baghel was moved to the health ministry. A lawmaker from Agra, Baghel was with the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party before joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    The changes came against the backdrop of Rijiju’s openly confrontational approach towards the judiciary. He repeatedly termed the collegium system of appointing judges “opaque”, “alien to the Constitution” and the “only system in the world where judges appoint people known to them”.

    He maintained there was no confrontation between the judiciary and the executive but also emphasised that judges cannot be appointed through judicial orders and that it has to be done by the government.

    He stressed that judicial appointments are not a function of the judiciary and that its primary role is to decide cases.

    While his utterances received wide coverage, it is not clear whether they served any material purpose. To be sure, it is not known whether his approach had anything to do with the change in his portfolio.

    Interestingly, the apex court and the Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud have refused to be drawn into the debate.

    A ruling BJP leader, who did not wish to be named, said Rijiju’s transfer could be explained by the standoff with the judiciary over a host of reasons including the collegium system of appointing judges.

    The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea demanding action against Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Rijiju for their contentious remarks on the judiciary and the collegium system.

    The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Bombay Lawyers Association (BLA) against a Bombay high court order. In its plea before the high court, the lawyers’ body alleged that Rijiju and Dhankhar disqualified themselves to hold the constitutional posts by showing a lack of faith in the Constitution through their conduct and utterances made in public against the Supreme Court and the collegium.

    The Association referred to a raft of statements made by Rijiju and Dhankhar over the last year, marking an ongoing confrontation between the executive and the judiciary over the judges’ selection mechanism and the division of powers between the two.

    Dhankhar has also questioned the collegium system. The top court responded with reminders to the government that the collegium system is the law of the land that must be followed by the government “to a T”.

    Source link

    Latest articles


    Related articles