New Delhi :Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday asserted that fundamental rights should not extend beyond a point, as it will damage the country’s unity and integrity.
“We are an emerging nation. We have to ensure that freedom of expression is absolute as it is our fundamental right but that right should not extend beyond a point, as it will damage the country’s unity and integrity,” said Rijiju, speaking at the ‘Times Now Summit 2021,’ after being on the provisions of the contentious ‘Sedition’ law.
Asked about differences of opinion, the Union Minister said, “If you exist in a democratic society, division and differences will always be there, it cannot be that every judge thinks alike. If there are differences in opinion in democracy, it is good. We have differences of opinion, but it does not mean that we have differences in thought about democracy.”
Refuting the allegations of government interference in judiciary, Rijiju said, “The judiciary, executive and legislature may be different organs, but we are part of the same system. How can we detach from each other? But ultimately, we respect the judiciary. We believe in the absolute independence of the judiciary. At the same time, we want the judiciary to be strengthened to the extent that they can deliver justice.”
On being asked about the Centre influencing the functioning of judiciary by giving inducements to judges when they retire, the Union Minister said, “Until and unless it is unconstitutional and barred by the provision of laws, nothing can stop it.”
On delivery of justice, the Union Minister said his main focus is on giving justice to the ‘vulnerable’ section of the society at their ‘doorsteps’.
“My main focus is on giving justice to the most vulnerable section of the society because many people of the country still consider going to the High Court or the Supreme Court as an unapproachable or unreachable option. Even going to a lower subordinate court is also a very difficult and herculean task for many citizens. I ensure that judiciary and justice be made available to the people at their convenience at their doorsteps,’ said Rijiju.
Referring to his recent visit in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Minister mentioned how cases were disposed of through ‘Lok Adalat’ and added that his duty is to ensure that such a campaign is taken to a logical conclusion.
He, however, expressed disappointment over West Bengal’s approach and said, “The only state in India which has not taken any step with regards to establishing the fast track courts, is West Bengal. I wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) and I am going to remind again that we cannot run like this because every State and Union Territory in India has taken concrete steps in this regard. This is very sad.”