Row over judicial appointment: Many MoP proposals rejected by SC collegium, says Centre

No appointments of judges were made between April and December last year because of the hearing on National Judicial Appointments Commission by the Supreme Court.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: October 14, 2016 9:18 am
supreme court, SC, SC on judges, Sc judges, supreme court judges, high court judges, judges, Supreme Court collegium, Memorandum of Procedure, judicial appointments, India news The SC had struck down the NJAC Act in October last year and ruled that judges’ appointments shall continue to be made by the collegium system.

Amid a tussle between the Centre and higher judiciary over revising the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for judicial appointments, the government Thursday told a parliamentary panel that many of its proposals that were part of the draft MoP and aimed at bringing “greater transparency, objectivity and accountability” were not accepted by the Supreme Court collegium.

It also said the government sent the draft MoP to the SC collegium on March 22, and the response of the collegium was received on May 25 and July 1, with many of the suggestions not accepted.

Thereafter, the revised views of the Centre were “conveyed to the CJI” on August 3.

“The response of the CJI is awaited even though two months have lapsed,” the Department of Justice informed the panel.

A presentation by the Department of Justice at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice also claimed that the SC collegium had rejected around 30 per cent of the recommendations made by the high courts, adding that in some cases the ratio of rejection was “as high as 80 per cent”.

“The rejection by the collegium is on account of divergence of opinion among consultee judges and/or adverse IB inputs,” it said.

While the rate of rejection is 80 per cent in the case of Madhya Pradesh, which throws doubts on the assessment criterion at high court collegium level, the same in the case of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh high court is to the extent of hundred per cent.

Pointing out shortcomings in the present process, it said that in some cases names are given by judges “without proper verification of basic antecedents of Advocates.”

“Zones of consideration (are) not fully explored to get the best and meritorious advocate for elevation,” it added.

The presentation also showed many of the high courts were functioning with half the sanctioned strength of judges. Overall, there are 456 vacancies as against the approved strength of 1,079 judges in the Supreme Court and all the 24 high courts.

The government told the panel that there has been a 63 per cent increase in annual rate of appointments of judges. The presentation said that since the BJP government came to power in 2014, altogether 121 judges had been appointed.

No appointments of judges were made between April and December last year because of the hearing on National Judicial Appointments Commission by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had struck down the NJAC Act in October last year and ruled that judges’ appointments shall continue to be made by the collegium system.

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  1. M
    Mathura
    Oct 14, 2016 at 2:52 am
    judicial appointments are being dela to protect corrupt politicians in the name of reforms whose majority the government fears/enjoys
    Reply
    1. B
      bala Raja
      Oct 14, 2016 at 3:28 am
      Is the collection system legal as per the consution of India? If not, the SC is acting unconsutionally. The Government should then impeach all SC judges and reconsute the bench as per consution and transparent selection process. The SC can't be above the law.
      Reply
      1. B
        Bijan Mohanty
        Oct 14, 2016 at 7:45 am
        The reason is very clear. Modi wants to saffronise the judiciary and democratic India won't allow that.
        Reply
        1. F
          family run
          Oct 14, 2016 at 1:38 am
          Kissa kursi ka. Applicable to the judicial system as well :-) Bhai kaun apne pet aur under table income pe laat marega? Hein?lt;br/gt;These judges work as part of a syndicate to ensure only the people agreeing with their philosophy are given opportunities. Even if it means the citizens and the law system of the country suffer. But hey, what else do you expect in a country that only has democracy in name? Show me one another "Democratic Country" which has allowed a family to rule the country for more than 10-15 years. None. No wonder in India everyone tries to prop up his or her own family because the government itself is family run, lol
          Reply
          1. S
            S Subramaniam
            Oct 14, 2016 at 5:51 am
            The Apex Court struck down the NJAC Bill and then suggested for MoP. Now they are putting hurdles for smooth implementation of the MoP. In otherwords they want only their own way for appointment of Judges which runs contrary to their suggestions for MoP. We need transparency in judicial appointments and judges cannot appointment themselves. One needs answers as to why the the Judgements of lower courts are set-aside by Higher Courts. Since the Judges are of impeccable repute this anomalous situation should not arise and needs elucidation.
            Reply
            1. N
              Niladrinath Mohanty
              Oct 14, 2016 at 1:50 am
              The Collegium of honourable is not infallible. The judges are not gods though at times they think to be so.
              Reply
              1. V
                Vijay
                Oct 28, 2016 at 8:01 am
                Is it legal for the Govt. to appoint judges when there branches of democracy are independent of each other ? Govt . want to appoint those lawyers as judges who internally support their ideology and agenda ...and SC cant afford to do that...Govt. call it transparent process...then tell us why those advocates' names have been selected and who were their clients ...
                Reply
                1. V
                  Vijay
                  Oct 28, 2016 at 8:02 am
                  Is it legal for the Govt. to appoint judges when there branches of democracy are independent of each other ? Govt . want to appoint those lawyers as judges who internally support their ideology and agenda ...and SC cant afford to do that...Govt. call it transparent process...then tell us why those advocates\' names have been selected and who were their clients ...
                  Reply
                  1. E
                    err
                    Oct 14, 2016 at 1:47 am
                    Why Judiciary wants to appoint their own judges with out transparency?? they should be answerable , ,its not their own private limited company.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Mona singh
                      Oct 14, 2016 at 8:43 am
                      U SEEMED TO BE A PERSON WHO IS DEVOID OF INTELLECT AND LACKS ABILITY TO COMPREHEND MATTER OBJECTIVELY. U ONLY WANT MODI BASHING AT ALL COST EVEN IF IT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY FACTS. GOD HELP U
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        SN
                        Oct 14, 2016 at 6:30 am
                        How do you know? Give examples.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          SN
                          Oct 14, 2016 at 8:29 am
                          Shame that 2 vital cogs of our democracy aren't working in lock step. I lay the blame on judiciary in this case because it feels that it is accountable to no one except itself, whereas our elected representatives know fully well that they will get booted out if they do not deliver on at some promises made. Judiciary therefore guarding it turf zealously and refusing any form of oversight by the govt. is deable. Like they enthusiastically intervene in governance matters in support of citizen's rights, they should equally be open to invention and scrutiny by people that are elected directly by citizens.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            vnksk
                            Oct 14, 2016 at 5:13 am
                            It is arrogance, protection of nepotism and corruption that is behind the rejection of govt proposal by collegium and not any morality.
                            Reply
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