Demanding participation in the appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts,the Bar Council of India,the apex lawyers body in the country,has adopted a resolution to approach the Centre and others with a request to accord them a role in the existing collegium system.
The BCI recently set up a committee,comprising its chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and vice-chairman Zafar A Khan,to examine the issue and prepare a comprehensive report on how and in what manner the BCI and state bar councils could have a representation in the process of appointments of judges in the top courts.
Taking cognisance of a letter written by Radhe Lal Gupta,former assistant solicitor general of India,the apex lawyers body decided to put in place the committee that will submit its report to the BCI,which will subsequently place it before the Union and state governments,the Supreme Court and all chief justices of the High Courts.
After a thorough consideration,the council is of the opinion that this is a very serious issue and the BCI as well as state bar councils are also feeling that in the matter of appointments of High Court and SC judges,the bars should also have a say and the concerned bar should also be taken into confidence before the recommendations of names for the appointments, reads the BCIs decision.
Gupta had in March shot a letter to the Chief Justice of India along with all SC judges and chief justices of the High Courts,questioning the manner in which some of the names,recommended for elevation to the judgeship,were not positively considered by the SC collegium.
His letter claimed that the SC collegium not only failed to procure adequate information before dropping and deferring a few names recommended for appointments as judges but that in the process,it also ignored the positive opinions rendered by the concerned High Court collegium regarding these individuals.
Gupta demanded that the names that failed to make the cut must be reconsidered after obtaining necessary information. Subsequently,the Madhya Pradesh state bar council and High Court bar association endorsed his views and wrote to the BCI,seeking its intervention in the matter.
The BCI took note of these concerns and adopted a resolution,advocating for appropriate representation by the lawyers bodies in the appointment process. It also decided to raise this issue at a conference of judges and lawyers,expected to be held after the summer vacation.