A public interest litigation has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking action against Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju over their statements against the collegium, judiciary and the Supreme Court, Bar and Bench reported on Wednesday.

In its petition, the Bombay Lawyers Association has claimed that the conduct of Dhankar and Rijiju has lowered the prestige of the Supreme Court in public.

In recent months, Rijiju has repeatedly criticised the existing collegium system of appointments of judges, contending that it is opaque.

Dhankar said that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was a “scenario perhaps unparalleled in the democratic history of the world”. He had also said that public posturing from judicial platforms was not correct.

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 December 8, the Supreme Court had said that comments against the judiciary by government functionaries were not well taken.

In its plea, the lawyers association said that the “frontal attack” on the judiciary has been launched in “most insulting and derogatory language”, reported The Indian Express.

“The Vice President and the Law Minister are attacking the collegium system as well as the doctrine of basic structure openly in a public platform,” the association said in its plea. “This kind of unbecoming behaviour by respondents [Dhankar and Rijiju] who are holding constitutional posts is lowering the majesty of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the public at large.”

The association argued that by expressing a lack of faith in the Constitution, Dhankar and Rijiju have disqualified themselves from holding any constitutional posts.

The petition is yet to be listed for hearing.