The Supreme Court Friday said its collegium has refused to accept the government’s rejection of 43 names it had recommended for different high courts. “We (collegium) have already met. We have reiterated all the 43 names sent to us,” Chief Justice T S Thakur told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. The Attorney General expressed ignorance about the latest development, saying “I am not aware about it”.
On November 11, the Centre had informed the Supreme Court it had returned the 43 names for reconsideration.
The bench headed by the CJI was hearing a bunch of petitions relating to delay in appointment of judges. At an earlier hearing, the bench had asked the Centre if it wanted the entire judicial system to be “locked out”. It had also said it would not tolerate “logjam in judges’ appointment” and would intervene to “fasten accountability as the justice delivery system is collapsing”.
With the collegium reiterating all 43 names and since the old Memorandum of Procedure is still in place, the Centre has no option but to make the appointments once the collegium reiterates the names sent back to it.
The Supreme Court has taken the Centre to task for sitting on files for appointments to various high courts, pointing out that the collegium has been very careful in clearing names for appointments as judges in high courts.