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'Frontal attack on judiciary': Lawyers' body move SC seeking action against VP, Law Minister

The Bombay Lawyers Association on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging a high court decision refusing to entertain its PIL against Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar for their remarks on judiciary and the collegium system for appointment of judges.

The lawyers' body argued that both, the VP and law minister, are continuing their rampage of attack upon the Constitution with complete impunity.

"It is further submitted that Respondent no. 1 and 2 have violated the oath that they took at the time of assuming their respective offices, and, therefore, they have forfeited their right to continue in that office, by disrespecting this Hon'ble Court and Constitution of India," said the plea.

The lawyers' body has challenged the February 9 order passed by the Bombay High Court dismissing its plea on the ground that it was not a fit case to invoke the writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. The association claimed that Rijiju and Dhankhar showed lack of faith in the Constitution with their remarks and conduct.

"Respondent Nos 1 and 2 have launched frontal attack on the institution of judiciary, particularly the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in most derogatory language without any recourse which is available under the constitutional scheme to change the status quo as per the law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India," said the plea.

"Respondent Nos.1 and 2 are attacking the collegium system as well as basic structure in public platforms. This kind of unbecoming behaviour by Respondent Nos.1 and 2 who are holding constitutional posts is lowering the majesty of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the eye of public at large."

The plea added that the respondent No.1 is the Vice President of India as provided under Article 63 of the Constitution and affirmed his oath bearing allegiance to the Constitution vide Article 69. "The Respondent No 1's attack upon the judiciary is also an attack on the Constitution upon which he had sworn an oath to bear true faith and allegiance," it added.

Rijiju had said the collegium system of appointing judges was "opaque and not transparent" and Dhankhar had questioned the landmark 1973 Kesavananda Bharati judgment that gave the basic structure doctrine.

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