Centre Disrupts Judges' Seniority By Splitting Up Collegium Resolutions: Supreme Court

Update: 2022-11-28 10:27 GMT

The Supreme Court today criticized the practice of Centre splitting up the Collegium Resolutions by approving some names from the recommendation and withholding other names.

While hearing a petition against delay in approval of Collegium recommendations by the Centre, Justice SK Kaul told Attorney General for India R Venkataramani,

"Sometimes when you appoint, you pick up some names from the list and not others. What you do is you effectively disrupt the seniority. When the Supreme Court collegium makes the recommendation, many factors are kept in mind."

The AG assured the Court that he has taken up the issue with the authorities and sought some time to resolve the same. He said,

"There is a need for some expediation without bringing in any other factor. After receiving the order, I had a couple of discussion with the Secretaries. Some facts were told. I had a couple of questions too. Let me come back. Let me weed out the issues.

Also Read: Centre Not Entitled To Segregate Collegium Resolutions, Supreme Court Should Act Tough Against Executive For Sitting Over Proposals : Justice MB Lokur

The Judge also expressed anguish towards Centre for sitting over proposals reiterated by the Collegium for appointment as judges. He said,

"Timelines have to be adhered to...It is crossing some rubicons by keeping the names pending like this...How can you not clear the names. You are effectively frustrating the method of appointment Mr. Attorney."

The judge stated that till the Collegium system is the law of the land, it must be followed. He thus directed the AG to convey the "sentiments of the bench" to the Govt and ensure that Centre does not sit on recommendations.

Justice Kaul also expressed reservation about Law Minister's television interview where he criticized the Collegium system for appointment of judges.

"Many people may have reservations about the law. But till it stands, it is the law of the land...I have ignored all press reports, but this has come from somebody high enough...it should not have happened".

The Judge was referring to Law Minister Kiren Rijiju's statements at the Times Now Summit. Rijiju said that the Collegium system was approved by the Supreme Court itself and questioned how anything which is alien to the Constitution, merely because of the decision taken by the courts or some judges, can be backed by the country?

Justice Kaul said that the government is seemingly upset with non-implementation of the NJAC system. The judge asked if that can be a reason to withhold the Collegium's recommendations.

Read More: 'It Should Not Have Happened': Supreme Court Dismayed Over Law Minister Kiren Rijiju's Remarks About Collegium System

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