West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday objected to the Centre's proposal for the inclusion of government nominees in the collegium system on appointments to the higher judiciary, claiming the BJP administration seeks to interfere in the functioning of the courts.
Stating that she is in favour of the freedom of the judiciary, Banerjee claimed that if the Centre's proposal is accepted, there will be no value for the recommendation made by the state government for appointment of judges in high courts.
"This is a new type of planning. If the Central government's representation is there in the Collegium of the Supreme Court, then state governments will also obviously include their representatives in the collegium, she said.
Banerjee then asked what the result of that would be.
"There will be no value in the state government's recommendation. Ultimately the central government will directly interfere with the functioning of the judiciary. That we don't want, she said.
Banerjee's reaction came after Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has written to the Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud for the inclusion of government nominees in the collegium system on appointments to the higher judiciary.
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Rijiju's early January letter to the CJI and the remarks on Monday come amid a tug-of-war between the government and the judiciary over the process of appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.
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