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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Q. Judges appointment issues: In the background of recent controversy, discuss the issue of appointment of judges to higher judiciary in India.
Mar 06, 2017 Related to : GS paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Justice J Chelameswar, one of the three senior-most judges of the Supreme Court has penned a note of dissent on the exclusion of Justice Manjula Chellur from the list of high court judges submitted by the collegium to the government for elevation to the Supreme Court.

Issues-

  • Ever since the Supreme Court ruled the Judicial Appointments Commission proposed by the government as null and void, there have been strained relations between the executive and the judiciary over the appointment and transfer of judges.
  • Justice Manjula Chellur name figured on the original list proposed by former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, but was dropped from the final list that went to the government for appointment. No reason was cited for excluding her name. 
  • Collegium member, Justice J Chelameswar expressed his displeasure over her exclusion of Justice Chellur from the list and stated that the reasons for it must be recorded.

Analysis-

  • The ongoing system of appointing judges to the higher judiciary in which the judiciary alone decides whom to appoint. The government has only option to influence the decision by sitting pat on the collegium’s recommendations without taking any action. 
  • The present and previous governments have formed appointment commission, whose composition would determine the quality and ideological orientation of the judges. But it has been scrapped by the apex court.
  • The present system is neither transparent nor accountable to none. Hence a more productive one is to identify the systemic flaw underlying the standoff. Hence there is an need of more qualitative mechanism to address this issue. 
  • When a vacancy opens up for a judge in a high court or in the Supreme Court, eligible members of the judicial fraternity, including lawyers, should be allowed to apply if they are interested.
  • All the three branches, that is executive, legislature and Judiciary must together should decide the appointment of judges. A broad based appointment body which includes members from all three organs will ensure appointment of right person to higher judiciary. 
  • There is a need to ensure a efficient system of appointment process, that would make for public confidence in the selection process and rule out any room for nepotism and favouritism.

Conclusion-

The ongoing process of selection of judges in the higher judiciary has been criticised since its inception. Even Justice Chelmeswar raised the issue over appointment process several times. In this background there urgent need to ensure an efficient and broad based appointment process. In this background all three organs of democracy should come together and build consensus on this issue.  


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