A huge challenge for me: new Law Minister Kiren Rijiju

PM’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ requires a robust legal system, he says on assuming office.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) requires a robust legal system, newly-appointed Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday after taking charge. He promised transparency in his dealings.

The Lok Sabha member from Arunachal West replaced Ravi Shankar Prasad in the latest Cabinet reshuffle.

“I am entering the room for the first time and it’s a huge challenge for me and a responsibility to discharge the function of the Minister for Law and Justice of the country… But everything can be handled with proper guidance, understanding of the subject and the application of the mind,” said the 49-year-old Minister, who has a law degree from the Delhi University but never practised as a lawyer.

The Law Ministry plays a key role in the transfer, posting and elevation of Supreme Court and High Court judges. Filling of vacancies in the Supreme Court and the 25 High Courts and more recruitment of judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary are two principal challenges before the new Law Minister.

Improvement of the judicial infrastructure and technology upgrade, especially in the time of COVID-19 when courts have functioned virtually; the creation of an all-India judicial service that streamlines the recruitment process of officers for subordinate courts and projection of India as a major arbitration hub are the other significant challenges before him.

The newly-appointed Minister of State in the Law Ministry, S.P. Singh Baghel, also took charge of his portfolio.

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