Senior Advocate Harish Salve recently opined at an event that Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju crossed the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ by commenting on the existing ‘tension’ between the judiciary and the government..On the recent query posed by the Supreme Court on how the government chose to appoint Arun Goel as Election Commissioner, the Law Minister had said that a similar question could be asked on the appointment of judges through Collegium."What kind of a question is this? Then the people will ask how the Collegium selected a name of a particular judge for appointment. A judge must speak through his judgment. I cannot tell how judges should behave but the convention says judges should speak through judgments and avoid making commentary," he added..At the event, Salve was also asked whether the judiciary was over-reaching its boundaries while dealing with the appointment process of the Election Commissioner, as well as the interim decision to keep the Sedition law in abeyance. At this point, he said,“The Law Minister crossed the Lakshman Rekha by what he said in my opinion. If he thinks that the Supreme Court must hold its hand when it sees a brazenly unconstitutional law and be hostage to the government’s kindness to amend that law, sorry that's wrong.”In the same breath, Salve also pointed out that the Supreme Court ought to have struck down the Sedition law, as in his opinion, it was a colonial relic that did not fit within the notion of free speech that we have today..Salve was speaking at the Times Now Summit 2022 along with former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on the topic What Is Slowing India’s Judicial System?When asked about his opinion on the Supreme Court Collegium, Salve stated that he had been a critic of the system and continues to be. “No judiciary in the world appoints itself. It is unheard of. And the NJAC judgment is deeply flawed in my opinion. To say that the political executive should have absolutely no say in the appointment of judges, in an institutional process is something which I don’t agree with,” the lawyer claimed. He stated that critical inputs of judges were required to asses the talent of a person from the judiciary, but that did not mean that the judges ought to be the sole arbiter on who is to be appointed.Salve also submitted that the apex court was ill-equipped to deal with the controversies that arose during such appointments and transfers. “The judiciary is an institution which must only be required to speak through its judgments. They deal with the most delicate cases, the most difficult cases and they speak boldly through their judgments. That is why we say you may criticise their judgments, but don't criticise the judge,” Salve emphasized..He added that when judges publicly showed the differences on appointments or transfers, it lowered their esteem in the public eye. “The judiciary’s transparency is that it speaks through its judgments. But here is a function where the judges are trying to come into public domain. You want one judge to pass comments on a sitting colleague in the High Court. I don't think that is the right thing to do. Three judges or five judges consider the appointment of a judge to the Supreme Court. I am not going by the gossip you have heard of what discussions take place. This is a process which has to be fundamentally different. We have to find some institutional mechanism by which the institution and not our court does this job. Otherwise the judges are bringing themselves and their internal confabulations into public domain,” the senior lawyer urged..He suggested that the NJAC could be engineered into a better, more representative body.“The way to do it is to relook the NJAC law. See if it can be improved and go back to Parliament and get the law re-enacted. Let it be challenged in the Supreme Court. And when the earlier precedent is applied that is the occasion to argue that the case was wrongly decided,” Salve proposed.He also suggested that the Parliament could have a re-look at the constitution of the committee which was to appoint judges and the manner in which judges will be selected.