Nothing Happens 'Secretly' in Collegium: Justice J S Khehar

Common criticism that collegium system was opaque trashed by a SC judge, supported it saying nothing happened secretly as judiciary.

Published: 16th October 2015 07:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2015 07:36 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The most common criticism that the collegium system was "opaque" was today trashed by one of the judges of the Supreme Court which strongly supported it saying nothing happened secretly as judiciary and the executive used to exchange their views in "black and white".

Analysing step-by-step the "Memorandum of Procedure" being followed in the collegium system, Justice J S Khehar, heading the five-judge Constitution bench, said, "It is ...clear, that there is a complete comity of purpose between the judiciary and the political-executive in the matter of selection and appointment of High Court Judges.

"And between them, there is clear transparency also. As views are exchanged in writing, views and counter-views, are in black and white. Nothing happens secretly, without the knowledge of the participating constitutional functionaries."

Justice Khehar, in his judgement, dealt separately the three issues that included a plea seeking his recusal, reference of the petitions against the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act to a bench of either nine or more judges and the decision on merits.

Striking down the NJAC Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, he said that the composition of NJAC, to which the Chief Justice of India and two senior most judges of the Supreme Court would be members, did not provide "adequate representation to the judicial component" in the panel and were insufficient to preserve the primacy of the judiciary.

"I have arrived at the conclusion, that clauses (a)the CJI, Chairperson, ex officio and (b) two other senior Judges of Supreme Court as Members, ex officio, of Article 124A(1) do not provide an adequate representation, to the judicial component in the NJAC, clauses (a) and (b) of Article 124A(1) are insufficient to preserve the primacy of the judiciary... The same are accordingly, violative of the principle of "independence of the judiciary", Justice Khehar said.


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