The Bombay High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation filed by the Bombay Lawyers Association against Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar over their critical remarks against the judiciary. The court emphasized that the Constitution is supreme, and the credibility of the apex court is extremely high and cannot be undermined by the opinions of individuals. The division bench of Acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne ruled that the collegium system related to the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges is well-established and functional.
On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court released a detailed order regarding its dismissal of a public interest litigation against Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar. The court stressed that all citizens, including those holding constitutional posts, must uphold and follow the Constitution.
The Bombay High Court emphasized that a public interest litigation (PIL) should be used for the protection of public interest and to address genuine harm or injury caused to citizens, rather than being used for publicity purposes. The court maintained that the purpose of a PIL is to redress a genuine wrong or injury caused to the public.
The Bombay High Court stressed that a public interest litigation (PIL) should serve to safeguard the interests of the public and address real harm or injury caused to citizens, rather than being used as a means of gaining publicity. The court reiterated that the main purpose of a PIL is to provide relief for a legitimate wrong or injury suffered by the public.
The Bombay High Court’s order emphasized that the credibility of the Supreme Court cannot be undermined or affected by the opinions of individuals. The Constitution of India is regarded as the highest authority and must be respected by every citizen, who is expected to uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution.
The Bombay High Court considered the statements made by Kiren Rijiju and Jagdeep Dhankar, which were submitted by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh. These statements emphasized that the government has never interfered with the independence of the judiciary and that the judiciary’s authority remains unchallenged. Rijiju and Dhankhar also affirmed their respect for the principles and values enshrined in the Constitution.
The Bombay High Court stated that the constitutional authorities cannot be removed in the manner proposed by the petitioner in the case. While fair criticism of a judgment is allowed, it is a fundamental duty of every citizen to uphold the Constitution. The court affirmed that the majesty of the law must be respected, implying that everyone is expected to abide by the laws of the land.
According to reports, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju recently commented on the collegium system of appointing judges to higher judiciary, calling it “opaque and not transparent.” Meanwhile, Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is the Vice-President and also serves as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, questioned the Kesavananda Bharati case verdict of 1973, which established the “basic structure” doctrine. This doctrine establishes that the Constitution has certain fundamental features that cannot be modified by the Parliament. Dhankhar suggested that this verdict, which is now 50 years old, sets a negative precedent, and argued that it would be difficult to claim that India is a democratic nation if any authority questioned Parliament’s authority to amend the Constitution.