Former Union minister P Chidambaram Thursday slammed the Narendra Modi-led government for stalling the appointment of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph as a Supreme Court judge despite the latter's name getting cleared by the Collegium.
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram raised questions over the Centre holding back Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph's elevation to Supreme Court.
His remarks came amid reports that the government has cleared the name of Indu Malhotra as Supreme Court judge while putting on hold the elevation of Justice Joseph.
What is holding up Justice K M Joseph's appointment? His State or his religion or his judgement in the Uttarakhand case?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) April 26, 2018
"What is holding up Justice K M Joseph's appointment? His State or his religion or his judgement in the Uttarakhand case?" he asked.
Stating that the recommendation of the SC Collegium is final, the former finance minister asked if the government considered itself to be above the law. "As the law stands now, the recommendation of the SC collegium is final and binding in the appointment of judges. Is the Modi government above the law?" he tweeted.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in "revenge politics" by "refusing" to clear the elevation of the country's most senior chief justice, K M Joseph, to the Supreme Court.
The judiciary is under the "most vicious attack ever" and totalitarianism will stump democracy if the nation does not rise now, Surjewala alleged. "PM Modi's 'revenge politics' qua judiciary and 'conspiratorial suffocation' of Supreme Court exposed again," Surjewala said on Twitter, adding that Justice Joseph, who heads the Uttarakhand High Court, is India's most senior chief justice. "Yet Modi Government refuses to clear his elevation to SC as retribution for quashing presidential rule in Uttarakhand?" he said.
"Modiji shredded Parliamentary privileges and supremacy. He road-rolled independent media. Democracy's last refuge i.e Judiciary is now under most vicious attack ever. If the Nation doesn't rise in unison now, totalitarianism will stump democracy," Surjewala tweeted. He accused the Modi government of being a habitual offender of trashing "judicial integrity" and the "constitutional supremacy" of institutions.
On January 10, the Collegium had recommended Justice Joseph for an elevation to the Supreme Court and had described him as "more deserving" and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices.
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)