The NCP on Tuesday criticised the Modi government for nominating former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha and said it should not have done so.
In a gazette notification on Monday, President Ram Nath Kovind nominated Gogoi to the Council of States to fill the vacancy caused due to the retirement of one of the nominated members.
Gogoi headed benches that pronounced several key judgements, including in the sensitive Ayodhya land dispute case and the Rafale fighter jet deal.
NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said the government should refrain from appointing to the Upper House of Parliament judges who have handled sensitive cases.
"The Modi government should not have nominated Justice (retired) Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha," Tapase said.
He said the people of the country look upon the judiciary for dispensation of justice "without fear and favour".
The power of judicial review over legislative actions vests with the high courts and the Supreme Court, he added.
"This is an essential and integral feature of our constitution. The government should refrain from appointing to the Rajya Sabha judges who have handled sensitive cases," Tapase said.
The NCP leader also said Justice (retired) Madan Lokur's comment on Gogoi's appointment should be viewed seriously.
Speaking to a leading English daily, Gogoi's former colleague Lokur said the ex-CJI's nomination was not surprising given there had been speculation about what honorific he would get.
Lokur, however, said it was surprising the nomination came too soon.
Lokur said the development redefines the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary and questioned whether the last bastion has fallen.
The CPI(M) also hit out at the government over the nomination saying that it was a "brazen" effort to undermine the independence of the judiciary.
"By nominating the former CJI to the Rajya Sabha, the Modi government is brazenly undermining the independence of the judiciary and subverting the separation of powers between the organs of the State, which is an inviolable principle enshrined in our constitutional scheme," the Left party said in a statement.
The party also quoted Gogoi's statement last year where he had observed, "There is a strong viewpoint that post-retirement appointment is a scar on independence of judiciary."
"The CPI(M) has earlier stated in no uncertain terms that under the constitutional scheme of things, the judiciary in India is not only independent, but has a very important role to safeguard the rule of law.
"The recent delays in delivery of justice, midnight transfers of high court judges and the delay in taking up the challenges to abrogation of Article 370 and the CAA have not evoked confidence among the people and are not in consonance with their legitimate expectations," it said, urging President Ram Nath Kovind to rescind Gogoi's nomination.