SC Objects To Law Minister’s Remark On Collegium; Says Clear Judges’ Appointment Or ‘We Will’

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The incident has again brought back the focus on the selection process of the judges.

SC is unhappy with Centre not clearing names of judges recommended by the collegium for alleviation.
SC is unhappy with Centre not clearing names of judges recommended by the collegium for elevation.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its displeasure at the Centre for sitting on the list of names given by the collegium for the appointment of judges. The Central Government has not given a go-ahead so far to the 11 names recommended by the Supreme Court for elevation. The files, returned on November 25, also include the name of senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, the son of former Chief Justice of India BN Kirpal. Sources say some names that were reiterated by the Collegium have also been returned.

The incident has again brought back the focus on the selection process of the judges. A petition has been filed in the top court, alleging “wilful disobedience” of the court-mandated time frame on appointments, which is currently being heard by a two-judge bench.

The apex court made expressed its concern regarding the delay in Central clearance for judicial appointments.

“Once the Collegium reiterates a name, it is end of the chapter… It (the government) is crossing the Rubicon by keeping the names pending like this,” the court said. “Please resolve this and don’t make us take a judicial decision in this regard,” said the bench of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka.

“It cannot be that you can withhold names, it frustrates the whole system… And sometimes when you appoint, you pick up some names from the list and not clear others. What you do is you effectively disrupt the seniority,” the court added.

Centre Differs With SC, Says Current System ‘Alien’ To Constitution

Union Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju, in a summit, said that the current system of appointment of judges is ”alien” to the constitution. Prior to 1991, it was the government which picked judges, he added. “I don’t want to criticise the collegium, I just want to point out that there are loopholes and there is no accountability. It lacks transparency … If the government is sitting on files, then don’t send the files,” the minister had said.

SC Upset At Law Minster’s Statement

As the statement was brought to the court’s notice by SCBA president Vikas Singh, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka said, “When someone high enough says that let them do themselves. We will do it ourselves, no difficulty. It came from someone high enough. All we can say it should not.”




Published Date: November 29, 2022 8:00 AM IST





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