Responding to a question on the comments of Justice Lodha that came against the backdrop of steps to end the collegiums system of higher judicial appointments, Prasad said several ministers of the present government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had their baptism in the famous JP Movement of seventies, followed by the Emergency.
    
"We fought in the Emergency for three reasons -- individual freedom, media freedom and independence of judiciary. In the seventies, the Judiciary's independence was under severe threat. Therefore, we have suffered for the cause of the Judiciary," he told reporters here.
    
The minister said when he states that the Modi government has the highest regard for the judiciary, he says so with "deep sense of commitment and conviction."
    
Justice Lodha called upon the legal fraternity to keep away people who "play tricks to taint judiciary", saying any form of corruption in judiciary "shield impurity which is the worst form of aliment in thriving democracy."
    
"I won't speak on the issue (the Bill) but I would touch upon the issue of independence of judiciary which is very dear to me. It is one thing which is non-negotiable," Justice Lodha, who is demitting office as CJI on September 27, said.

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