Appointment of judges: After we submit file, there should be no delay, SC tells govt

The Supreme Court Wednesday said that “there should not be any delay” after a file for the appointment of a judge is cleared by the Collegium, even as the Centre maintained it was in the process of clearing the names.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: September 15, 2016 2:41 am
TS Thakur, cji, chief justice of india, judiciary, indian judiciary, judiciary news, New Delhi : Chief Justice of India TS Thakur addresses a National Workshop on Rehabilitation of Missing and Trafficked Children in New Delhi on Monday.PTI Photo by Kamal Singh(PTI8_22_2016_000288B)

The Supreme Court Wednesday said that “there should not be any delay” after a file for appointment of a judge is cleared by the Collegium, even as the Centre maintained it was in the process of clearing the names.

Responding to PILs on shortage of judges and delay in appointments of judges, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur that the government was not indulging in any “blame game” and the files were getting cleared as they “matured”.

Stating that judges’ appointments for Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Madras high courts had been cleared, Rohatgi submitted two sealed covers, detailing the status of files on recommendations sent by the Collegium to the Union Law Ministry, and requested the bench to go through them “very carefully”.

“It has details of all the recommendations. I must tell this court that there is no logjam… it (clearing of names) is happening. The only thing I would request my lordship to keep in mind is that it is like a race. You start on time and then only you will reach in time. However, high courts, by and large, are late in starting the process of filling up vacancies. Allahabad High Court is one of them and some proposals are late by five-six years,” said the AG.

However, he clarified that the idea of putting forth this argument was not to blame anybody but to bring to the notice of the bench that issues might crop up when proposals are delayed by years.

At this, the bench said the government must also acknowledge that making recommendations was an “arduous process”. “And then it comes to us (Collegium). Once we clear it, then there should not be any delay,” said the bench.

It added that if the government has “problems” with some recommendations, it should send them back to the Collegium for a re-look but there should not be inordinate delay in processing the files. “The idea is it should not get stuck,” said the top court.

The CJI told the AG that he was in Chhattisgarh last week when the chief justice of the high court informed him that there were only eight judges against an approved strength of 22. “The proposal regarding Chhattisgarh High Court has been pending for nine months. It is working with only one-third of total sanctioned strength. We sent three names,” said Justice Thakur.

“That is done… Chhattisgarh and Kerala are done. One appointment has been cleared in Madras High Court, too. Two transfer cases have also been cleared by us. The oldest one is from Allahabad. But they also also maturing,” the AG replied.

The bench said it would examine the sealed cover adduced by the government and fixed the hearing on September 30.

On August 12, the CJI had warned that it would “be forced to interfere judicially” to break the deadlock. Seeking the AG’s assistance, Justice Thakur had said: “We won’t tolerate a logjam in judges’ appointment. It is stifling judicial work. We will fasten accountability now.

Why is there mistrust? If this logjam continues, we will be forced to interfere judicially. We will ask for every file sent to you by the Collegium.”

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  1. N
    Najam
    Sep 14, 2016 at 8:46 pm
    Hey Kid.
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    1. H
      Hari
      Sep 15, 2016 at 1:03 pm
      It is the duty of the Govt as well as of the S.C./H.C to ensure that only individuals of very high integerityandlegal illuminaries are appointed as judges .The elevation of relations of the judges has to be avoided at all costs so to keep the judiciary free of corruptionandneo potism.What I can perceive is that the differences have arisen on a/c of recommendation of large number of names who are related to the sitting judges.It shows that here also a cotrie is working.The Govt wants to know that in how many cases an aspirant for judgeship sponsered from Bar,has appearedandwhat was the outcome of such cases.It is a correct approach.Let there be delay in processingstead of incompetent persons adorning the chairs.
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      1. H
        Hari
        Sep 15, 2016 at 4:09 am
        It appears that the CJI is playing to the gallery.The appointment of juanddgesandtheir transfer,shortageandempanellement should not be a subject matter of public discussion for public consumption.The CJI should resist from giving statements of threat to the Govt.It doesnot bid well for both the wings.Govt on its should speed up the appointment clearence processandjuduciary should act judiciouslyanddiscreetly,not to the discomfiture of the Govt.
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          Amit
          Sep 14, 2016 at 5:16 pm
          What nonsense... Is this CJI or opposition party leader? Yet to submit request and threatening to approve on time, being a judge himself he should believe in decision making not rubber stamping.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;All of a sudden, crores of pending cases becomes Modi's responsibility, truth is none of judiciary people are efficient and trying to play blame game.
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          1. N
            Non religious
            Sep 14, 2016 at 5:39 pm
            Can the people who write against CJI understand that it is the basic right of the people to proper courts and sufficient no. of judges in a democracy. Stop being a b "bhakt".
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