Govt’s MoP recommends panel of retd. Judges to deal will complaints against SC and HC Judges

Govt’s MoP recommends panel of retd. Judges to deal will complaints against SC and HC Judges

The Government has reportedly recommended setting up of a panel to deal with complaints against Judges in the Supreme Court and in the 24 High Courts of the country.

The Government’s version of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) includes a provision for a Secretariat, which would comprise of retired Judges. The Secretariat would be endowed with the power to evaluate complaints against the Judiciary, and recommend the subsequent course of action. The Government has reportedly resolved to formulate the rules for appointment of retired Judges to the Secretariats. The appointments to the Secretariat would be made with the consent of the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justices of the respective High Courts.

“The retired Judges will be working under the CJI and the Chief Justice and hence there should be any misgivings on the executive’s interference in the affairs of the higher judiciary,” a source was quoted as saying.

The Judiciary however has time and again expressed its reservations regarding inclusion of such a provision, claiming that it would encroach on their independence. Currently, all complaints against the Judiciary are referred to the CJI, who then decides the mechanism to deal with them.

The final draft of the MoP, to be sent to the CJI for approval, also contains a clause making it mandatory for the collegium to record minutes of its meetings and note down dissent while making recommendations.

The Draft MoP, which was directed to be drafted by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in December last year, intends to lay down the broad framework for appointment of Judges by the collegium. It recommends that the Attorney General at the Centre and Advocates General in the States should have a say in recommending candidates for appointment and elevation of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. It also mandates that up to three judges in the Supreme Court should be from the Bar. You may read the LiveLaw article here.