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MoP: Clause on national security remains sticking point

Differences over certain provisions of the revised memorandum of procedure have been ironed out, official sources said.

Published: 30th June 2016 08:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2016 08:01 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The clause on government's right to reject a recommendation on appointment of judges on the grounds of national security remains a sticking point between the executive and the judiciary with the Chief Justice of India stating that it could be used by the executive to scuttle appointments.

However, differences over certain other provisions of the revised memorandum of procedure (MoP) have been ironed out, official sources said today.

Details have emerged on the meeting of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda with CJI T S Thakur yesterday which was aimed at resolving differences on the revised MoP.

"Things are now moving in a positive direction," the sources said, indicating that the two sides have come on board on most of the key clauses of the MoP.

They said on the issue of national security and public interest, the talks remained "inconclusive".

At the meeting, the government said the revised MoP was based on the 1993, 1998 and 2015 judgements of the Supreme Court related to the collegium system. It cited the judgements to push its case before the CJI.

The government insisted that the clause on rejecting the Supreme Court collegium's recommendation on the grounds of national security and public interest was essential.

But Justice Thakur said it could be used by the executive to scuttle appointments recommended by the collegium. The government said in the past 15 years, very few recommendations have been turned down by it over the issue.

The CJI then sought a data on such cases to which the government agreed. The parameters on defining what constitutes national security and public interest could also be drawn to avoid ambiguity.

But at the same time, there were agreements on defining the role of the proposed secretariat in processing recommendations.

While the government and the collegium are on the same page to have secretariats in high courts to process judicial appointments, the judiciary had earlier opposed defining the role of the proposed secretariat.



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