Several top jurists on Monday pushed for scrapping the existing collegium system where judges appoint judges but government’s plans to bring a bill to make the process of appointments more transparent may take some more time.
At a meeting to discuss judicial reforms, the “predominant” view was that collegium system needs to be “changed”, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said after three-and-a-half hour long deliberations. The Attorney General said those present in the meeting gave their point-of-view as to whether the collegium system should remain or not, but the debate has not ended.
He said on how exactly it will be changed and what should be the composition, is still being discussed. Asked on the next step, he said the Law Minister will decide on the issue and perhaps there could be another exchange of ideas.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “there was a consensus for improvement and the need for making it (appointment of judges) more transparent.” Asked whether there was a consensus to scrap the collegium system, Prasad said it will not be appropriate for him to make a public statement in this regard.
The Narendra Modi government plans to bring the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in this session of Parliament. Also on the agenda today was other reforms related to the judiciary including the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill which the previous UPA government had brought.
But those who attended the meeting said most of the time was used on discussing the collegium system.
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