NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that the Collegium System had recommended names that were not worthy of acceptance and blamed the judiciary for promoting judges, who had reserved judgments in hundreds of cases after prolonged hearings.
“A tax payer may say that I pay your (judges) salaries, I have a right to know who is going to be a judge,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Constitution Bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.
Concluding his arguments, the AG promised that undeserving appointments would not pass through the NJAC while claiming that the Collegium chose a person, who hardly delivered judgments and later went on to become a Judge of the apex court.
As a Judge on the Bench pointed out that the Judge in question had pronounced 219 judgments during his stint with various High Courts, Rohatgi contested this, saying he had pronounced only seven judgments, out of which two were concurrent. The AG said he can produce records to buttress his claim.
“The shroud of mystery that the Collegium System had can only be lifted by the NJAC,” he contended, adding that under this, an under performing judge cannot be made the Chief Justice. Addressing the court’s apprehensions that disclosure of information under RTI would make the job of NJAC difficult, Rohatgi argued that it may not be necessary that all the information relating to the appointment of judges needed to be disclosed.