The Centre on Monday sought to impress upon the Supreme Court that the responsibility for delay in filling judicial vacancies also lay with its Collegium and the Collegium of the various High Courts.
Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench of Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph that while the Centre took an average 127 days after receiving Intelligence Bureau’s report to clear a name, the SC Collegium took 119 days after receiving the names submitted by HCs.
He said even the rate of rejection of names by SC Collegium was 35 per cent. He also referred to cases where High Courts had recommended names five years after a vacancy arose.
Following this, the bench asked the different High Courts to submit a report on their judicial vacancies.
Justice Kaul said the question is how the current time period for judicial appointments can be reduced. He said if, as stated by the A-G, HCs are taking time to make recommendations, why not make such proposals a year before a vacancy is likely to rise.
Venugopal said that when the government receives a recommendation, it takes time to verify the details. Justice Joseph asked why the government was not sitting on even reiterated names.
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