Kejriwal says independence of judiciary to be kept intact

Delhi CM says every effort will be made to strengthen independence of judiciary while ensuring speedy justice.

New Delhi: In the backdrop of a controversy over Delhi Law Minister's move to call a judges' meet, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that every effort will be made to strengthen the independence of judiciary while simultaneously ensuring speedy justice.

"We respect the independence of judiciary and there was no intention to hurt that. We will work towards strengthening the independence of judiciary," Kejriwal said, replying to a question on Law Minister Somnath Bharti's move to convene a meeting of all judges of Delhi court. "Today I had an appointment with the High Court Chief Justice, but could not go because of Assembly session.

"We and Law Minister will call on the Chief Justice in a couple of days. We will assure him that we will work under his direction and guidance," Kejriwal said.

A massive row had erupted when Bharti wanted to convene a meeting of all judges of Delhi courts. Bharti defended his move arguing his aim was to improve the justice delivery system and not to undermine the judiciary.

Sources said Bharti's proposal was strongly opposed by Delhi Government's Law Secretary A S Yadav who reasoned that it would be not proper to convene such a meeting as judiciary was independent of the executive and that the matter must be referred to the Delhi High Court.

They said Bharti, himself a lawyer, was apparently peeved at the Law Secretary's views and conveyed to him that he must follow instructions. The Minister today strongly denied that he rebuked Yadav over the issue and maintained his efforts have been to improve the justice delivery system.

"Independence of the judiciary is my utmost concern. There must not be any mechanism by which one can influence judiciary. But at the same time we must take steps to facilitate justice. We need to do anything and everything possible towards this end," Bharti told PTI. The Minister said he has already sought time from Chief Justice of Delhi Court N V Ramana to apprise him about "my side of the story". "The reports that I have rebuked the Law Secretary is absolutely incorrect," he said.

( Source : PTI )
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