NEW DELHI: Expressing disappointment on the apex court collegium’s decision to keep its December 12 decision on elevation of judges under wraps, former Supreme Court Judge Justice Madan B Lokur on Wednesday said that the collegium system of selecting judges requires tweaking.
“Once we take certain decisions, they have to be uploaded. I’m disappointed that they were not,” Justice Lokur said adding that he was not privy to the additional material which led to a change in the collegium’s decision of December. He demitted office on December 30, last year.
This is the first time Justice Lokur broke his silence on the recent controversy over the non-elevation of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Rajendra Menon to the Supreme Court. Instead, the collegium elecvated Delhi High Court judge Sanjiv Khanna and Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Justice Dinesh Maheshwari.
Speaking at an interaction on the ‘State of the Indian Judiciary’, Justice Lokur said, “Healthy discussions take place at the Collegium meetings and agreements and disagreements are part of it.”
He said there is a need to bring changes in the collegium system and added that a mechanism has to be put in place for adhering to a time line in judicial appointments.
He then referred to the case of Justice K M Joseph’s elevation to the Supreme Court and alleged that the government sat on the file for months.
Neither the judiciary, nor the government can sit on files on appointment of judges, he said.
Justice Lokur also stated that positive changes were brought in the system after the unprecedented press conference on January 12 last year by the four of the senior-most judges in the SC. He was also a part of that group.