'Lakshman Rekha' Used in SC Order on EC Appointments by Law Minister Rijiju

'Lakshman Rekha' Used in SC Order on EC Appointments by Law Minister Rijiju

On Saturday, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju referred to the constitutional "Lakshman Rekha" that governs many institutions, including the administration and the judiciary, and he questioned who would carry out judicial duties if judges were included in administrative appointments.

Rijiju was answering a question about a Supreme Court panel's order to the government to form a panel that includes the prime minister, the chief justice of India, and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha to choose the chief election commissioner (CEC) and election commissioners until a law is in place for the same.

The Constitution specifies how election commissioners should be chosen. A legislation must be passed by Parliament. As a result, the appointment must be kept. I agree that there is a void, since there is no statute for such in Parliament, the minister remarked at the India Today Conference.

Rijiju said that he is not criticizing the Supreme Court's decision, discussing its "repercussions," or outlining what the government would do in response.

"... But what I'm asking is, who will continue the judiciary's job if the CJI or judges of India sit on every significant appointment? The number of administrative issues in the nation is enormous. Hence, it is important to recognize that judges serve mainly to administer justice. They are there to execute court orders by providing justice to the populace, the speaker said.

The minister believed that judges would be criticized if they took on administrative duties. He said that if a judge decides to hear a case in which he or she participated, the notion of justice would be undermined.

"Assume you are a judge or the chief justice. You are a participant in an administrative procedure that will be contested. It is brought before your court. Can you provide a decision on a case in which you participated? There will be a compromise of justice itself. The Lakshman Rekha is quite explicit in the Constitution because of this, according to Rijiju.

The Supreme Court declared in a historic decision that the president shall choose the CEC and election commissioners on the recommendation of a committee made up of the prime minister, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the CJI, protecting their nominations from administrative meddling.

This rule will remain in effect until a legislation on the subject is passed by Parliament, according to a unanimous ruling issued earlier this month by a five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice KM Joseph.

Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey will step down from his position on February 14 after reaching the age of 65, creating a vacancy in the Election Commission early in the next year.