Amid the row over the Centre and judiciary over judicial appointments, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday said that it would be wrong to think that existing systems will continue forever and would never be questioned, NDTV reported.

“There have been many changes since 1947…” Rijiju said. “It is the changing situation which dictates the need and this is why the Constitution had to be amended more than a hundred times.”

In recent months, Rijiju has repeatedly criticised the existing collegium system of appointments of judges and demanded that it should be with the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015.

The law was passed by Parliament months after Narendra Modi took over as the prime minister in 2014. However, the court had deemed the law to be unconstitutional.

The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act had proposed to make judicial appointments through a body comprising of the chief justice, two senior Supreme Court judges, the law minister and two other eminent persons nominated by the chief justice, the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition.

Under the collegium system, five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, including the chief justice, decide on the appointments and transfers of judges to the top court and the High Courts.

On Monday, Rijiju said that judges do not have to contest elections or face scrutiny but added that they are still being watched by the public.

“The people are watching you and judging you,” Rijiju said, according to NDTV. “Your judgements, your work process, how you dispense justice...The people can see, and assess... They form opinions.”

Don’t shoot the gun off my shoulder: Ex-judge

Retired judge RS Sodhi on Monday advised Rijiju to “not shoot off his shoulder” after the law minister cited his views amid the standoff between the Centre and the judiciary, reported NDTV.

On Saturday, the law minister had tweeted a video clip of Sodhi who had alleged that the Supreme Court has “hijacked” the Constitution by deciding to appoint judges. Sodhi had also said that the Supreme Court does not have the power to frame laws and added that the right to do so belongs to Parliament.

Rijiju had shared the video saying that elected representatives represent the interests of the people and make laws. He later added that the majority of the people have “similar sane views” as Justice Sodhi.

On Monday, Sodhi told NDTV that his views regarding the collegium system were part of his personal opinions.

“I thank the law minister for raising the issue, but I’m not a political person,” Sodhi said. “Don’t shoot the gun off my shoulder…Parliament is supreme in law-making, but the Supreme Court is capable of examining the law.”