October 21, 2020

SC collegium is a blot on democracy: Bihar minister Upendra Kushwaha

Image result for Upendra KushwahaNEW DELHI: Union minister of state for HRD Upendra Kushwaha on Monday slammed the Supreme Court Collegium as a “blot on democracy”, calling it a biased system that allows judges to pick their “successors”.

“According to the attitude of the judiciary, in the present time, judges don’t appoint other judges, they actually appoint their successors. Why do they do that? Why was this made a system to choose successors,” Kushwaha said at an event in Patna, as reported by ANI.

He further alleged that the collegium system lacked transparency and the judges were indulging in nepotism. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former president APJ Abdul Kalam, he said if a tea stall vendor can become a prime minister and a son from a fishing community can become the president of the country, why are the doors of the Supreme Court shut to aspiring judges from marginalized communities.

“People oppose reservation, say it ignores merit but I think collegium ignores merit. A tea-seller can become PM, fisherman’s child can become scientist and later president but can a maid’s child become judge? Collegium’s a blot on our democracy,” he charged.

The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief’s remarks came in the wake of a virtual standoff between the central government and the SC collegium over the elevation of justice KM Joseph to the Supreme Court.

Kushwaha, an OBC leader, said the lack of representation of people belonging to SC, ST and Dalit communities in the higher judiciary does not bode well for the institutions. The number of women in the collegium is also very few, he added.

The Bihar lawmaker is leading the ‘Halla Bol, Darwaza Khol’ campaign calling for more representation of members from weaker sections of the society in the Indian judiciary. The campaign also demands a change in the process of judges selecting judges.

Courtesy: ANI

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