In its latest cabinet reshuffle, the Modi government has appointed Arjun Ram Meghwal as the Union Law Minister of the country. He will replace Kiren Rijiju who occupied the office for about 2 years.
Meghwal has been assigned the independent charge as minister of state in the Ministry of Law and Justice in addition to his existing portfolio. He currently serves as the minister of state for parliamentary affairs and minister of state for culture.
Kiren Rijiju was appointed Law Minister on July 7, 2021. He has now been appointed the Union Minister for Earth Sciences. Taking to Twitter, Rijiju said, "It has been a privilege and an honour to serve as Union Minister of Law & Justice of Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji." He also thanked members of the judiciary.
Since he came to power in May 2014, with the latest addition of Arjun Ram Meghwal to the list of law ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed four different leaders to the office. Here, we have listed all of them for you.
Ravi Shankar Prasad (May 2014 - November 2014) & (July 2016 - July 2021)
With a resounding BJP victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Ravi Shankar Prasad became a part of the Narendra Modi Cabinet. He was appointed the Minister of Law and Justice and Minister for Communications and Information Technology. During the first five years of Modi's reign, Prasad held the top law office twice. Once, for a period of 167 days and again for more than 5 years.
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National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)
During his first tenure in the Modi Cabinet, Prasad introduced the legislation for the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) which was aimed to change how the members of the higher judiciary are selected for the job. Calling it opaque, the legislation sought to change the collegium system.
The law was passed by the Parliament and ratified by the legislative assemblies of 20 states. However, in 2015, the Supreme Court struck it down. The apex court was of the view that the legislation could dilute judicial independence in the country.
The Ayodhya Ram Temple dispute and the Rafale controversy
Decades-long Ayodhya dispute was also resolved in 2019 during Prasad's tenure. The ruling government also received a favourable judgement on the Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft during his tenure as law minister.
Moreover, Supreme Court ordered against the Muslim practice of instant marital separation known as triple talaq. The practice was declared "arbitrary and unconstitutional" by the apex court. The decision was seen as a victory for the politics of the BJP which seeks to implement uniform civil code across the country.
DV Sadananda Gowda (November 2014 - July 2016)
Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, DV Sadananda Gowda was given the charge of the Ministry of Law and Justice after a Modi cabinet reshuffle in 2014. Previously, he had served in the Ministry of Railways.
Kiren Rijiju (July 2023 - May 2023)
Rijiju was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the 16th Lok Sabha from Arunachal West seat in 2014. He was part of the team of ministers in Narendra Modi's first Council of Ministers and joined as Minister of State for Home. In the 2019 general elections, he was again elected an MP from Arunachal Pradesh and was given independent charge for Youth Affairs and Sports and MoS for the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
He served as Cabinet Minister of Law and Justice from 2021 to 2023. He has now been assigned to the Ministry of Earth Science.
Arjun Ram Meghwal (Incumbent)
Contesting on a BJP ticket, Arjun Ram Meghwal was first elected an MP from Bikaner Constituency in 2009. Upon re-election in 2014, he was appointed the chief whip of the BJP in the Lok Sabha. He was given the charge of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in May 2019.
In the latest cabinet reshuffle, Meghwal has been announced as the law minister of the country.