Govt respects judiciary, its independence: Rijiju

Puducherry: Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said “the Central government respects Judiciary as independence of the Judiciary is absolutely necessary.” Laying foundation for a building to come up at a cost of Rs 13 crore to house chambers for lawyers of Puducherry on the precincts of the integrated court complex here, he said, “Right from day one of my assumption of office of Minister of Law and Justice, I am clear in my concept, vision and intention about the independence of Judiciary.” “Our government respects the Judiciary and independence of Judiciary is also absolutely necessary for a thriving democracy,” he added.
“Judiciary works for the country and the Legislature and Executive also work for the nation. Without cooperation and coordination among them we cannot make the country a great nation,” he said.
He asserted that the Judiciary, Legislature and Executive are not working in different ways. “We work in separate zones but with same purpose and have very clear-cut tasks in our hand determined by the Constitution of India.” The separation of powers, respect for each other and Lakshman Rekhas have been clearly demarcated and therefore there need be no room for any controversy, he said. The Union Law Minister said his message to the Judiciary “is that we will always honour dignity and independence of Judiciary.” Rijiju voiced concern that “some are however, making comments or statements and also adverse remarks in this regard which are only damaging the institution.” He said during last few days he had seen “some remarks made by eminent persons, eminent lawyers and some retired Supreme Court judges whom we expect would make positive contributions for the nation’s growth”.

“I have written to Chief Justice of India to have a very structured collegium system to appoint judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts in the country and this is very well guided by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court,” Rijiju said. He said that the Bench had given very “clear observations and directions to the Collegium and the government in 2016 to restructure the memorandum of process to appoint judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. This, however, got delayed. But it is my bounden duty to carry forward the order of the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court and as long as the collegium system prevails and as long as no alternative system is not in place and as far as Parliament does not bring new system, we will carry forward with the present system which needs some updation and restructuring as per directives of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.” He said Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy (who spoke earlier) had placed before him the plea for a full-fledged bench of High Court for the Union Territory. “We will take positive steps to provide the facility so that the litigant public from Puducherry would face no need to rush to Chennai for appeal or for other judicial remedies,” he said.
He called upon the lawyers to ensure that justice was delivered at the doorsteps of the public and ‘this pro bono public’ approach would be of help for the poor and needy sections of people to get justice as fast as possible.

The Chief Minister said the chambers for advocates have been planned to be made available as early as possible. Puducherry government has funded a major chunk of the cost of construction of the building for the chambers. Rangasamy also stressed the need for granting statehood to Puducherry which had been a Union Territory all along.
Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Attorney General of India R Venkataramani and Chief Justice of Madras High Court (acting) T Raja were among those who spoke. Puducherry Assembly Speaker R Selvam and PWD Minister K Lakshminararayan were among those who were present.

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