Published On: Mon, Jan 23rd, 2023

Kiren Rijiju’s latest in Judiciary vs Centre row: ‘There is no public scrutiny of judges’

New Delhi: As judges are not elected, they do not face public scrutiny but people watch them and make assessment about them from the way they deliver justice, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday. The minister’s remarks at a Republic Day function organised at the Tis Hazari courts complex here came amid a tug of war between the judiciary and the executive.

He said the judges cannot argue on a public forum as there are limitations

Rijiju said due to social media, ordinary citizens ask questions from the government and they should do so. The government is attacked and questioned “and we face it”, he said. “If people elect us again, we will return to power. If they don’t, we’ll sit in opposition and question the government,” he said .

He said on the other hand if a person becomes a judge, he does not have to face elections. “There is no public scrutiny of judges,” he said.

“…As people don’t elect you, they cannot replace you. But people are watching you — your judgements, the way you deliver verdict — people are watching and make assessment and form opinion,” he said. Nothing is hidden in the era of social media, he said.

Rijiju said the Chief Justice of India had requested him to do something about the attacks on judges on the social media. He wanted to know how to control the insulting language against judges.

He said the judges cannot argue on a public forum as there are limitations.

“I have thought about what should be done. There is a provision of contempt. But when people comment on a mass scale, then what can be done. While we are facing public scrutiny and criticism on a daily basis, judges too are facing the same now,” he said.

He claimed judges too these days are a little careful, because if they deliver a verdict which will result in a “massive reaction” in society, then they too would be affected as they are also humans.

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