Kiren Rijiju removed as law minister in cabinet reshuffle, made minister of earth sciences

New Delhi: Rijiju says it was a privilege to serve as Union Minister of Law and Justice and thanks the entire judiciary for their “huge support

BY | Thursday, 18 May, 2023
(PC: @KirenRijiju/ Twitter)

In a sudden development, Kiren Rijiju was moved out of the law ministry and replaced by Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday.

As law minister, Rijiju had been the most vocal in the government in criticising the collegium system of appointing Supreme Court and high court judges and described it as being “alien” to the Constitution.

His recent remarks on some retired judges being part of an anti-India gang had evoked strong reactions.

He had claimed that a few retired judges and some activists who are part of the “anti-India gang” were trying to make the Indian judiciary play the role of opposition party.

Rijiju was named as law minister on July 7, 2021.

The Sports Minister and the Minister of State for Minority Affairs at that time, Rijiju got the coveted portfolio following the resignation of senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

A brief communique of Rashtrapati Bhavan said President Droupadi Murmu, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has reallocated portfolios among ministers in the Union Council of Ministers.

“The portfolio of (the) Ministry of Earth Sciences be assigned to Shri Kiren Rijiju,” it said.

Meghwal is currently the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and the Minister of State for Culture.

He has been assigned independent charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice in addition to his existing portfolios, according to the communique.

Rijiju will take over from Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who was holding charge of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

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Rijiju said that he is now looking forward to fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision in the Earth Sciences Ministry.

He also said it was a privilege to serve as Union Minister of Law and Justice and thanked the entire judiciary, including Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, for their “huge support”.

Rijiju’s remarks came hours after he was divested of the Law and Justice portfolio and made the Minister for Earth Sciences in a surprise reshuffle of ministers by the prime minister.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to serve as Union Minister of Law and Justice under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji,” Rijiju said on Twitter.

He also thanked Chief Justice of India Chandrachud, all judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices and judges of high courts, lower judiciary and law officers for the “huge support” in ensuring delivering ease of justice and providing legal services for citizens.

“I look forward to fulfilling the vision of PM Narendra Modi ji in the Earth Sciences Ministry with the same zeal and vigour I have imbibed as a humble ‘karyakarta’ of (the) BJP,” Rijiju, a three-term Lok Sabha member from Arunachal Pradesh, said.

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