It's time judiciary stood firm: Cong
New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said it is time the judiciary stood firm as it urged the Supreme Court collegium to categorically reiterate its recommendation in favour of Justice K M Joseph and demand reasons from the government for rejecting his name after much delay.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the collegium should also demand answers from the government for the segregation in appointments of judges by clearing one name and rejecting the other despite its recommendations.
He also hit out at the government and condemned the reasons cited by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, which he dubbed as "fake, spurious and deplorable", for rejecting the recommendations of the Supreme Court collegium.
He said this is the "worst day" for the the first-ever "content-based" assault on the judiciary, where the government only appoints those at key positions who say "Tusi great ho" (you are great) and does not appoint others who do not say so.
"I am exhorting, asking and demanding from the collegium and the country to forthwith reiterate that recommendation leaving the government to reject it second time. So, this is call on the judiciary to face an onslaught by the government and the accusation against the government," he told reporters.
"The collegium, which has taken to its self the power to appoint judges must forthwith immediately and categorically, reiterate its recommendation in favour of (Uttarakhand High Court) Chief Justice Joseph as this is within their jurisdiction.
"The collegium must forthwith seek reasons from the Government for a five or 4-1/2 months delay in even rejecting Mr Joseph recommendation. Recommendation made in January rejected now," Singhvi said.
The Congress leader said the Collegium must ask on what principle and under what power without the permission the chief justice's segregation was affected between the two judges.
"I say with a heavy heart, I do not say because we want it. But I think it is time the judiciary stood firm," he said.
Singh recalled that former CEC TN Seshan refused to hold elections anywhere in the country unless proper officers were appointed in different parts of the country as per the choice of the Election Commission.
"The collegium, the time has come, should say no further appointment will be made unless and until its recommendee, who is reiterated for recommendation is again appointed. It is a matter of principle, this is a matter of Siddhant', this is a matter of its institutional integrity of
one organ of State speaking from position of strength to another co equal organ of State," he said.