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Supreme Court averse to Centre’s say in Appointment of Judges

May,9,2016:

Central government want that if it feels the name recommended is not in the overall interest of the country, it can reject it.

Supreme Court collegium wants upper hand
Supreme Court collegium wants upper hand

The Supreme Court collegium which has examined the revised Memorandum of Procedure regarding appointment of judges to the apex court and the high courts, is reported to have objected to a clause in which the government reserves the right to reject a recommended name on concerns of national interest.

The rejection clause is contrary to the current practice where government is bound to accept a recommendation made by the collegium, which comprises four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and the CJI, if it reiterates it.

The MOP, a document which guides the appointment of SC and HC judges in different states, was revised after the Apex Court bench asked the government to rewrite it in a bid to make the collegium system of SC more transparent.

The MOP was sent to Chief Justice of India T S Thakur by law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in March.

Now, the SC collegium, which is headed by the CJI, is learnt to have objected to at least two clauses after going into the document .

According to one of the objectionable clauses, the SC collegium’s recommendation can be overturned/rejected by the Central government if it feels the appointment sought is not in the overall interest of the country.

The MOP also provides that once the Centre Govt. has rejected a recommended name it will not be bound to reconsider it even if it is  reiterated by the collegium.

The other such clause which the collegium is reported  to have objected to is that the Attorney General at the Centre and Advocates General in the states shall have their say in recommending candidates for appointment and elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts for States.

It is perceived that this clause gives the Centre Govt. as well as the state governments an indirect decisive say in naming candidates for recommendation for the post of SC or HC judge.

Sources said while the draft of the MOP is still with the SC collegium, the objections to above clauses have been conveyed to the government.

While addressing a press conference on April 24 after the joint conference of chief justices and chief ministers here, the CJI had stated that the core of the document, based on a Supreme Court judgment, will remain “unaltered” that the SC collegium alone will make recommendations.

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