Justice Nariman termed the Law Minister’s statements as “diatribe” and proceeded to remind him of the Constitutional provisions which binds the government.
“We have heard a diatribe by Law Minister of the day against this process. Let me assure the Law Minister that there are two basic Constitutional fundamentals that he must know. One fundamental is, unlike the USA, a minimum of 5 unelected judges are trusted with the interpretation of the Constitution – Article 145(3). There is no equivalent in USA. So minimum 5 – what we call Constitution Bench- are trusted to interpreted the Constitution.
Justice Nariman said that while the Law Minister has the right to criticise the judgment, the Central government is bound by the Supreme Court’s 1993 judgment in second Judges’ case which led to the formation of the Collegium system.
“Once those five or more have interpreted the Constitution, it is your bounden duty as an “authority” under Article 144 to follow that judgment. You may criticise it. As a citizen, I may criticise it, no problem But never forget, unlike me, who am a citizen today, you are an “authority” and as an “authority” you are bound by that judgment – right or wrong,” he emphasised.