Supreme Court has asked the Central government to formulate a draft memorandum of procedure, based on the suggestions received by the Union Ministry of Law for the appointment of judges to higher judiciary to be made by collegium. The Centre had on Tuesday apprised apex court that nearly 3,500 representations and suggestions have been posted on the ministry’s website.
The suggestions ranged from disclosure of complete information to avoid any “conflict of interest” to even written tests followed by an interview for selection of judges.
The Law ministry has been receiving suggestions and representations following the Supreme Court’s invitation to public seeking improvement in the collegiums system after it had struck down the law passed by the government to appoint judges, namely National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act as “unconstitutional”.
Appearing before the bench hearing the ways to improve the existing Collegium system, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the court that the persons who have made representations include former BJP ideologue KN Govindacharya who said that the terms of appointment of judges should include a clause that if the prospective judges give wrong information about their education and other requisites, they should be removed without getting into the rigours of impeachment proceedings.
Govindacharya also said that in case the person who has been selected by the collegium is related to any present or former judge, senior advocate or politician, then that person should not be a part of appointment process, to negate possibility of conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, a conference was also held on Tuesday by The National Lawyers’ Campaign For Judicial Transparency And Reforms, seeking the apex court to review its order by which it declared the NJAC “unconstitutional”. The organisation also sought that the deadline to submit suggestions and representations be extended as the time given by the apex court was very short.
Besides, a large chunk of respondents have advocated written tests followed by interview for selection of judges.
After compiling the suggestions and categorising them under various heads, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand and senior advocate Arvind Datar found that a majority of suggestions were on the qualification and quality of persons who should be appointed as judges of constitutional courts.
(With inputs from the PTI)