Doing a u-turn, the government on Thursday said there was no proposal as of now to change the present system of appointment of judges in the Supreme and High Courts.
"There is at present no specific proposal to bring about any change in the system of appointment of judges," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily informed the Lok Sabha.
Moily's latest statement on continuing with the existing system of judges' appointment directly contradicts his earlier statement in which he had hinted at changing the existing procedure.
"The government is thinking of making changes in the appointment procedures as the present collegium system does not fully reflect the two Supreme Court judgements, which led to the creation of the existing system," Moily had said on June 2.
"The 1993 and 1998 judgments of the Supreme Court, led to the present Memorandum of Procedure which governs the appointment of judges of the Supreme and High courts. But the system does not fully reflect the two judgments in their letter and spirit," the law minister had also said the same day.
Supreme Court and High Court judges are currently appointed on the basis of the recommendations made by five senior most judges in the country (Supreme Court collegium).
This system came into existence in 1993, before which the government had the power to appoint judges of the higher judiciary.
Moily, however, conceded on Thursday that "the procedure has been debated in various fora and there have been demands to change the same."
The government has been under pressure from top jurists and activists fighting for accountability in the judiciary to scrap the collegium system for appointment of judges.
There is, however, no unanimity on which system should replace it. This is one of the reasons behind the government's reluctance to initiate a process to change the present system.