Govt, judiciary working as team; some actors trying to portray conflict between two: Rijiju

New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI)┬áThe government and the Judiciary are working as a team but some “actors in the society” are trying to portray that there is a misunderstanding or conflict between the two, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday.

He also said he would not like to comment on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that the democracy in the country is in danger, saying “his statements do not contain any concrete substance so it does not deserve that kind of response”.

Speaking at the Lokmat National Conclave here, the minister rejected allegations that the government was using central agencies to target the Opposition.

“This is not correct. In BJP, corruption is not tolerated so there is no question of bias. Zero tolerance towards corruption is the mantra of the Modi government,” he said in response to a question.

When asked about the recent Supreme Court direction to set up a committee comprising the prime minister, the Chief Justice of India and and Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha) to select chief election commissioner and election commissioner, he said as a minister he should not comment on judicial pronouncements.

“If I feel that there is encroachment, I will raise at appropriate forum or initiate appropriate action,” he said.

He said since Parliament is in session, he would not like to talk about “any intention of the government to bring legislation or any other action”.

“But I can assure you that we will do our duty and due diligence are given for any action and we just don’t take up any matter like that. We will only do when it is required and if corrective steps are necessary, we will do that,” he asserted.

He said the supremacy of Parliament to legislate will not be compromised.

“We will not encroach upon the territory of other organs. But we will also not stop ourselves from taking corrective steps or right decisions as per the Constitution,” Rijiju said.

The minister also noted that one has to identity what are the issues which are administrative in nature, and issues which are totally in the domain of the Judiciary.

“The Constitution says very clearly that the appointment of election commissioners has to be done through law. I agree that there has been no enactment of any Act (legislation) on that. But that is the domain of the Legislature,” he said.

He said the government and the Judiciary are “working as a team”.

“It is just because some of the actors in the society who are deliberately trying to create certain kind of fissures, confusion or conflicts … they only try to portray in a negative manner that there is some kind of a misunderstanding or conflict between the government and the Judiciary which is not correct. We have excellent working relationship with the Judiciary and we have to work as a team,” he said.

He claimed there is a calibrated effort being launched in the country and outside the country which makes the matter serious.

“There is a design going on in the country to weaken our democracy and to weaken the Judiciary. They are also trying to tarnish the image of the Indian democratic system and Indian judiciary.

“These people are creating some preemptive accusation that government is interfering into judicial matters or government is trying to control the Indian judiciary. By making such allegations, they are trying to undermine the judiciary. Judiciary is absolutely independent,” Rijiju asserted.

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