SC asks Centre to fix timeline for judicial appointments: All you need to know
The Supreme Court on Wednesday urged the Centre to set a fixed timeline for clearing appointments of judges to the higher judiciary after receiving the recommendations of the collegium. Here is all you need to know about the matter:
• The request came even as a new memorandum of procedure (MoP) on judicial appointments is pending for almost four years.
• The court said there were 189 proposals regarding appointments pending with the government as on December 31.
• It added certain proposals remain pending before the government for over six months.
• A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that all endeavours should be made to ensure appointments come through in a time-bound manner.
• Of 1,079 posts of judges in the high courts, 411 are vacant.
• The vacancies accounted for over a third of the total positions as of January 1.
• In 2015, the top court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment, which sought to give the executive a say in the appointment of judges.
• This judgment held that judicial appointments will be carried on by the recommendations of the collegium, which comprises the CJI and four other most senior Supreme Court judges.
• The court had said that a new MoP should be put in place in consultation with the government to guide all future appointments of judges.
• A draft MoP was sent by the collegium to the Union law ministry in March 2017, but the government returned it, suggesting certain improvements.
• Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Lok Sabha in March 2020 that the government’s suggestions have remained pending with the top court.
• The new MoP on eligibility criteria and a timeline for judicial appointments awaits finalisation.
• The Supreme Court on Wednesday called it a “matter of great concern” that the collegium had not heard from the government for months together after making some recommendations.
• It said a proposal would get stuck without knowing the reason whether the government had any objection to a certain name or there were other issues.
• Around a dozen names for appointments to high courts of Allahabad and Bombay have been pending since May and June last year.
• The court said even a proposal to appoint some government lawyers as judges had not been cleared expeditiously.
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