For appointment to 4 vacant posts of judges in the Supreme Court Chief Justice UU Lalit Two members of the collegium have objected to the proposal of four names sent by the Appointment of judges in the Supreme Court collegium system originates from. Chief Justice UU Lalit heads the collegium. They collegium I had written a letter to my fellow judges seeking their consent. But two members did not consent.
The members of the collegium are Justices DY Chandrachud, SK Kaul, S Abdul Nazeer and KM Joseph. The names recommended by the Chief Justice include Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar and senior advocate KV Vishwanathan. Now the collegium is unlikely to recommend any name to the central government.
How judges are appointed in the Supreme Court, what is a collegium, how does the collegium system recommend names… you will find answers to all such questions in this report. Along with this, we will also try to understand the latest controversy.
What is Collegium?
The collegium system has come into existence after hearing some cases related to the appointment of judges. It is not mentioned in the Constitution or any special law brought by the Parliament. The Supreme Court Collegium is a body of five members. It is headed by the current Chief Justice of India (CJI). The remaining four members include four other most senior judges of the Supreme Court.
Similarly, the collegium of a High Court is headed by the present Chief Justice and the other four senior justices of that court. However, the composition of the collegium also keeps on changing. Any member can remain in the collegium till he retires from his post.
What is Collegium System?
The appointment and transfer of judges in the Supreme Court and the High Courts of the states are done under this system. Judges are appointed in the High Court through the collegium system. The government has a role in this only after the name is decided by the collegium. The names recommended by the High Court Collegium reach the government after the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Collegium.
The government can raise objections to the names recommended by the collegium and seek clarification on the names. But if the collegium repeats the same names again, the government is bound to appoint them as judges under the decisions of the Constitution Bench.
If a lawyer is promoted as a judge in the High Court or Supreme Court, then the role of the government in the whole process is only to get the Intelligence Bureau (IB) investigated. The current situation is similar. The CJI had promoted senior advocate KV Viswanathan to the recommended names, to which other members objected.
Sometimes the government delays appointments because of the displeasure of one or more judges on the names recommended by the collegium. Such is the latest case.
What does the constitution say?
Articles 124(2) and 217 in the Constitution deal with the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts. These appointments are made by the President. These appointments are made only after consultation with the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court. However, the Constitution does not prescribe any specific procedure for these appointments.
The judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court are appointed under Clause 2 of Article 124 of the Constitution. The President appoints the Chief Justice in consultation with other judges of the Supreme Court. Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President after mandatory consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
At the same time, according to Article 217 of the Constitution, the Justice of the High Court is appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State. In the matter of appointment of a Justice other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court is consulted.
Why is there criticism?
A senior advocate practicing in the Supreme Court TV9 Hindi Told that the collegium system is not transparent. There is no secretariat or other official machinery involved in this system. It is said that the entire process of the collegium takes place in a ‘closed room’. No one seems to know about this. There is no eligibility and the selection process for this is transparent.
When and how the collegium decides the recruitment process, how the decision is taken… There is no public information about all this. There is no fixed time limit for when the process of the collegium will be completed. For these reasons, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju had also raised objections. The government wants its interference in the appointment process, but the Supreme Court has been rejecting it.
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