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The government and the judiciary are working as a team but some “society actors” are trying to show there is a misunderstanding or conflict between the two, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday.
He also said he did not want to comment Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comments that democracy in the country is in danger and said “his statements do not contain any concrete substance so it does not deserve such a reaction”.
Speaking at the Lokmat National Conference in New Delhi, the minister rejected allegations that the government had used central agencies to target the opposition.
“This is not right. In BJP corruption is not tolerated so there is no question of bias. Zero tolerance for corruption is the mantra of the Modi government,” he said in response to a query.
When asked about the Supreme Court’s recent order to set up a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha) to select the Chief Election Commission and Election Commissioner, he said as a minister he should not comment on court orders.
“If I believe there is an invasion, I will speak in the appropriate forum or take appropriate action,” he said.
He said that with Parliament in session, he would not want to talk about “the government’s plans to introduce legislation or other measures”.
“But I can assure you that we will do our duty and due diligence is given to all operations and we just do not raise any issues of this nature.” We will only do so when required and if corrections are necessary we will do so,” he said.
He said that the supremacy of Parliament to make laws will not be overridden.
“We will not invade the territory of other organs. But we will also not stop ourselves from making improvements or correct decisions according to the constitution,” said Rijiju.
The minister also pointed out that people need to identify which are the cases that are of an administrative nature and the cases that are completely within the jurisdiction of the courts.
“The constitution says very clearly that the appointment of election officers must be done by law. I agree that there has been no law (law) about it. But that is the purview of the legislature,” he said.
He said the government and the judiciary “work as a team”.
“It’s just because some actors in society who are deliberately trying to create a certain kind of rift, confusion or conflict … they’re just trying to portray in a negative way that there’s some kind of misunderstanding or conflict between the government and the judiciary that’s not right . We have a great partnership with the judiciary and we have to work as a team,” he said.
He claimed that a concerted effort is being launched inside and outside the country, which makes the matter serious.
“There is a design going on in the country to weaken our democracy and weaken the judiciary. They are also trying to tarnish the image of Indian democracy and Indian judiciary.
“These people are making some pre-emptive allegation that the government is interfering in court cases or the government is trying to control the Indian judiciary. With such accusations, an attempt is being made to undermine the judicial system. The judiciary is completely independent,” Rijiju said.