Modi government’s Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said the Supreme Court does not need to hear the bail plea.
Chief Justice Dhananjay Y Chandrachud yesterday asked the Supreme Court counter question – if they do not intervene, if they cannot provide redress when personal freedom is violated, then what are they doing sitting in the court? The Chief Justice also reminded that the Supreme Court has this right and responsibility in Article 136 of the Constitution. The Law Minister also questioned why there would be a long vacation in the Supreme Court and the High Court. Yesterday, the Chief Justice informed that no bench will sit in the Supreme Court from Saturday, December 17 to January 1, as per the scheduled winter vacation.
Although not directly addressing the Union Law Minister’s comments, the lawyers saw these two comments of the Chief Justice as a message to the Modi government. Because for quite some time, the Law Minister has been criticizing the collegium system of regular appointment of judges. He blamed the problem of the appointment of judges for the mountain of old cases. Rijiju’s suggestion that there is a mountain of cases – the Supreme Court does not need to hear bail pleas or public interest cases on trivial matters.
Yesterday, Chief Justice Chandrachud was hearing a bail plea in the Supreme Court. A person accused of stealing electricity has been jailed for three years. Another 15 years in jail.
Comment from the chief justice
The Chief Justice said that no case is trivial before the Supreme Court. He said, “If we don’t interfere, we don’t address personal freedom, then what are we doing here? Isn’t it a violation of Article 136 of the Constitution by the Supreme Court not doing anything? The Supreme Court is there to hear the pleas of such petitioners. We are in such cases. That’s why I stay up at night.”
Yesterday, the Union Law Ministry said in response to a question in the Parliament, 498 constitutional cases, 487 election cases, 2209 writ petitions, 2870 public interest cases and 4331 cases brought before the Supreme Court against the judgment of the High Court are pending in the Supreme Court. The law minister raised a question in the parliament about the mountain of outstanding cases – Why will there be a long vacation in the Supreme Court and High Court? Ignoring it, the Chief Justice said yesterday that the winter vacation will remain as it was.
Senior lawyer and Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal said, “Unfortunately, we have a law minister who doesn’t even know the law, he doesn’t even know how judges work.” Congress leader Manish Tiwari said, “Has the Law Minister ever inquired what judges do during their vacations or weekends? Do they write judgments or play golf? A new lawyer knows the answer.”
Notice to two companies regarding the sale of acid
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has sent notices to online companies Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd’ and ‘Fashioner Technologies Pvt Ltd’ for allegedly selling acid in violation of rules.