20 Oct 2020 7:12 AM GMT
In response to concerns over inadequate representation of minorities/ vulnerable communities at the Bench in Supreme Court, the Union Law Ministry has reiterated that there is no provision for reservation in the Judiciary. However, he clarified that the Government has been insisting on increasing diversity at the High Court level, from where Judges at the Top Court are...
In response to concerns over inadequate representation of minorities/ vulnerable communities at the Bench in Supreme Court, the Union Law Ministry has reiterated that there is no provision for reservation in the Judiciary.
However, he clarified that the Government has been insisting on increasing diversity at the High Court level, from where Judges at the Top Court are usually appointed.
"The Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed under Article 124 of Constitution, which do not provide for any reservation based on caste or class of person including women," Law Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad said.
The Minister was responding to the concern raised by a Member of Parliament, P. Wilson, in the RajyaSabha.
Wilson had highlighted that for the past few years, there is declining representation from all the sections of the society in the Apex Court.
"A more diverse judiciary is desirable because without one, the chances are greatly increased for a violation of the rights on these under represented and could indirectly imply discrimination. Significant over-representation of certain sections calls into question the objectivity of the current system and its inability to recruit from different social social groups and ensure social justice," he wrote while urging the Parliament to "step in".
The Law Minister has now clarified that at present, there are 30 judges at the Supreme Court including two women judges, three judges from minority communities and one judge from Scheduled Caste community are in position in the Supreme Court.
He further stated that judges in the Supreme Court are appointed predominantly from amongst the Chief Justices / Judges of the High Courts and the Government has been requesting that due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women while making appointments to the High Courts.
Wilson's letter on the other hand stated,
"There is a diversity deficit in our Supreme Court and is not indicative of the wonderfully diverse and pluralistic society of India. Judicial diversity is fundamental to the quality of judging. Many social groups are poorly represented in the Apex court. There is lack of women judges and judges from historically oppressed and marginalized sections of society. It is not that they are not qualified enough. This may mean their rights are not being properly safeguarded, and may eventually lead to the infringement and violation of such rights. People of this country are afraid that a very narrow, homogeneous group of Judges belonging to certain classes are not necessarily going to reflect the views and values of society as a whole, particularly on issues involving diverse, cultural and generational matters because they would require more perspectives, as the Judges would interpret and enforce law based on their own background."
Click Here To Download Wilson's Letter
Click Here To Download Ministry's Response