Kiren Rijiju replaced as the law minister and moved into earth sciences

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju Removed From Law Minister’s Post, Given Earth Sciences

Kiren Rijiju will be replaced as Minister with Independent Charge of the Law Ministry by Minister of State Arjun Ram Meghwal.

Mr. Rijiju transferred to the Ministry of Earth Sciences

In an unexpected move just one year before the general election, Kiren Rijiju was fired as the Union Law Minister today, and Arjun Ram Meghwal took his place.

Mr. Rijiju, known as a troubleshooter and one of the government’s most prominent ministers, has been transferred to the comparatively low-key the Department of Earth Sciences less than a year after being elevated to the Law Ministry with cabinet status.

Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal is the Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice

Meghwal, currently the state minister for parliamentary affairs and culture, will take over the vital law and justice ministry, the Rashtrapati Bhavan announced in a press release.

The following portfolio transfers among Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers have been approved by the President of India, on the Prime Minister’s advice:

(i) Shri Kiren Rijiju will hold the portfolio for the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
(ii) “In addition to his current responsibilities, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State, be appointed to the independent charge of Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice in place of Shri Kiren Rijiju,” the statement said.

Earlier, Mr. Rijiju was elevated to a cabinet position

In July 2021, Rijiju, 51, an Arunachal Pradesh native and three-term member of the Lok Sabha, was appointed law minister. He was elevated from a junior minister in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports to a cabinet position. Many were shocked by his promotion because Rijiju, despite being a law graduate, was not a member of the legal community.

Mr. Rijiju sent a note to his former ministry thanking CJI DY Chandrachud and all judges.

Rijiju’s tenure was contentious

In a crucial period when the Supreme Court and the government have not always agreed on appointing judges, India now has a new law minister.
Rijiju’s brief tenure was contentious due to frequent clashes between the executive branch and the judiciary as well as his outspoken criticism of the SC regarding the collegium system of judges selecting judges.

An SC two-judge panel displayed dissatisfaction in February over the hold-up in removing judge transfers and appointments, calling it an extremely serious problem and threatening “administrative and legal measures which might not be palatable” if the situation wasn’t resolved.
When Rijiju claimed that the collegium system is “alien” to the Constitution and has no public support last year, the government and judiciary’s conflict grew more heated. “How do you expect the country to support anything alien to the Constitution simply because of a decision taken by the courts or some judges?” he asked.

This morning, Mr. Rijiju’s transfer was announced in a brief statement from the President’s Office, citing the Prime Minister’s recommendation. Shortly after, Mr. Rijiju modified his Twitter bio.

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  1. Pingback: Opinion: Former Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stepped over the line in his rhetorical attacks on the judiciary - Panchayiti

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