oppn parties Judge Debunks Collegium: What is the Best Way to Appoint Judges?

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  • Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar proposes an Indo-Pak ODI series to raise funds for fighting coronavirus
  • Maharashtra government says many Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Markaz and returned have gone into hiding
  • West Bengal government identifies hotspots in Kolkata and the rest of the state, inclined to extend the lockdown in those places only
  • Prime Minister Modi holds a video conference with floor leaders of opposition parties, hints at extending the lockdown
  • UP seals hotspots and makes masks mandatory
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  • ICMR says an infected person can infect 406 people in 30 days without social distancing and lockdown
  • Stock markets make a smart recovery. Sensex up by record 2476 points on global cues
  • Schools, colleges and shopping malls likely to remain closed for a further period of one month, says empowered group of ministers
  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19: 773 new cases and 32 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports the health ministry
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Judge Debunks Collegium: What is the Best Way to Appoint Judges?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-09-06 17:14:06

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
picture courtesy:economictimes.indiatimes.com

There cannot be any doubt that an independent judiciary is a strong pillar of democracy. But is the independence of the judiciary limited to its powers of making judgments by interpreting the law or does it extend to administrative aspects also? There are many angles to the debate. The Supreme Court has itself said that no one can sit on judgment in a case that involves his own interests as it goes against principles of natural justice. Hence, the policy of judges deciding on appointment and transfer of judges, and that too in a manner that is opaque, also goes against that principle. Having struck down the NJAC Act and having not cleared the Memorandum of Procedures (MoP) for appointment and transfer of judges sent to it by the Centre, the Supreme Court has created a situation where huge vacancies are not being filled in the high courts. The matter has been further complicated by the refusal of Justice J. ChelameswarÂ’s refusal to attend collegium meetings as he finds them lacking in transparency.

Justice Chelameswar has accused the other judges in the collegium of not having any constructive debate on the candidates and rushing through names by ganging up and letting majority prevail. Although Justice Chelameswar was the dissenting judge in the NJAC judgment and had written at length on the shortcomings of the collegium system in his dissenting judgment, the way he has now refused to participate in its meetings shows that much is wrong with the system by which appointment and transfer of judges is being done now. Hence, the need is for the judiciary and the executive to shed their respective rigid stances and work out a middle ground, perhaps around the MoP. The primacy of the judiciary needs to be maintained and the executive can be allowed to have a small say in the matter.