Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily refused to comment on the controversy surrounding the proposed elevation of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Regional Conference on Judicial Reforms and Police Reforms organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration here on Saturday, Mr. Moily said the appointment of judges was a constitutional matter.
He was fielding queries from reporters who sought to know the government’s stand on the issue in the wake of allegations by a section of eminent lawyers that he had amassed huge assets.
Mr. Moily said important matters such as appointment of judges cannot be discussed publicly, adding that the reputation India’s judicial system enjoys the world over will be protected.
Though he did not make any reference to the Justice Dinakaran case during his address, Mr. Moily emphasised the need to make “people making allegations accountable for their utterances.”
Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, a former Union Law Minister, regretted the attack unleashed on the judiciary. “Never in the past has the judiciary been attacked as badly as it has been now. The government never attacks the judiciary. Only vested interests do it,” he said.
Mr. Bhardwaj, however, made no reference to the Justice Dinakaran case, but criticised lawyers for dictating terms to the judicial establishment.
“What right do these practising lawyers have to dictate terms? They can’t say what is to be done and what is not to be done,” he added.
Mr. Bhardwaj recalled that during his tenure as Union Law Minister, the government had appointed more than 500 judges without any vested interest, and said it was committed to protecting the institution of the judiciary.