“It is a huge responsibility for me to act as Minister of Law and Justice. Meeting public expectations will be my priority and I will always try to maintain transparency,” Rijiju said, after taking office on Thursday. “Although I have a law degree, I don’t have much experience in legal matters because I have never practiced the profession. But anything can be managed with proper guidance, a good understanding of the subject and the application of the right spirit,” he said.
“The Prime Minister’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat also requires a strong legal system in the country,” he said and assured that the functioning of his ministry will be transparent.
ET examines the areas of intervention of the Minister of Justice.
All India Judicial Service Review
The Indian judicial service proposed by the government to centrally recruit judges on the civil service line has received mixed responses from various states and opposition from some sections of the judiciary, but the move is in progress. Classes.
The exam will be on the lines of the civil service tests. As ET reported, some high courts had opposed the program while others called for tweaking the proposal. Some high courts have expressed concern that the mechanism will end up usurping the powers of state governments/high courts.
The people quoted above said that several rounds of correspondence and interactions took place between the judiciary and the Center to allay apprehensions.
National Dispute Policy
With the government being the largest litigant, the National Litigation Policy launched in 2010 aimed to reduce unnecessary appeals against every lower court order. Reducing intergovernmental disputes has been one of the priorities of the Modi government. However, this requires synergy, proper legal advice from the ministry and coordination between ministries. The policy should identify underlying bottlenecks in the legal system and address them uniformly across all departments.
Vacancies in the higher judiciary
There were 449 vacancies for judges in the high courts, as of July 1. Filling vacancies will reduce the wait. Only 66 new judges were appointed to 15 high courts last year, while 81 appointments were made in 2019 and 108 in 2018. According to Rijiju’s predecessor’s statement to parliament a few months ago, more than 4,000 posts judges are also vacant in the courts of first instance.
Even six years after the Supreme Court asked the Center to revise the procedure for selecting senior judges, the Center and the Supreme Court have still not found common ground. The Department of Justice plays a central role in resolving disputes with the judiciary.
With the SC drafting model rules for live streaming and recording of proceedings, the government will need to play the role of facilitator.