NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday alleged that the NDA Government was delaying the appointment of judges in various High Courts as recommended by the Supreme Court collegium because the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is keen to appoint lawyers associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the coveted post.
Kejriwal told ANI that according to the figures, around 40-50 percent seats of judges in the High Courts are vacant.
“Considering all this, the honourable Chief Justice has raised this question several times on different forums. Judges should be appointed quickly so that the judgement in various cases can be made at the earliest,” Kejriwal said.
“Crores of cases are pending in the entire nation. The thing that has come up in open is that the Supreme Court collegium had in the month of February or March recommended about 70-75 names to the Central Government so that these people can be appointed as judges of various High Courts,” Kejriwal added.
Stating that approximately six-seven months have passed and the Centre has not yet given its nod on the matter, Kejriwal asked as to why the BJP-led government is not clearing these files and said there are rumors suggesting that the ruling dispensation wants to appoint lawyers associated with the RSS as judges.
Kejriwal added they are desperately doing all this so that the Supreme Court is left with no other option but to accept what the government is saying.
“The Supreme Court has sent the names of unbiased people and the Modi Government wants that the people associated with the Sangh should be appointed as judges of the High Courts,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Chief Minister’s remarks comes after Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur expressed his disappointment at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address, saying he was hoping that there would be a mention on appointment of judges in his speech.
The CJI, who hoisted the tri-colour at the Supreme Court lawn, while asserting that he has reached the peak of his career and was not afraid to speak his mind called on the Prime Minister to take action for the sake of justice for the people, who had great expectation from the nation’s legal system.
“I was hoping that there would be talks about justice, about the appointment of judges. These days, cases are piling up and so are people’s expectations, which is making things very difficult. Which is why I have time and again made this request that attention be given to this matter as well,” he said.
The CJI sought a reply from Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi over the delay in appointment of judges as recommended by the collegium.
Slamming the government over the delay, he said, "Don't force us to pass orders to remove logjam".
The apex court earlier asserted that time has come to take judicial note of appointments and transfers, which have not been made despite the collegiums’ clearance eight months ago.
Regarding the collegium, the apex court stated that 75 names of High Court judges have been cleared, but have not been approved.
"The vacancies in High Courts have increased to 43 percent when the pendency in high courts has reached to four million cases. If the government has any objection on the names, it should be sent back to the collegiums with relevant matter, but the process can't be stalled," the court observed.