NEW DELHI: The tiff between the judiciary and the government for preparing the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Court is likely to end soon as the final draft will be ready in two weeks’ time.
“The draft of MoP is ready and will be submitted in next two weeks. We have sorted out our four-five differences on MoP with the government. However, few issues remain pending,” Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said at the sidelines of a function.
The delay in finalising the draft has resulted in increasing vacancies up to 485 in 24 High Courts in the country and three at the apex court.
Last month, the collegium headed by the CJI had rejected the MoP stating that the government’s move to have the final word on the issue would undermine judicial independence and thereby hit the basic feature of the Constitution.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too has met CJI to iron out the differences between the Judiciary and Executive over the MoP. The main objectionable point is a provision in the government’s draft MoP is under which the executive could reject the recommendations of the SC Collegium citing national security considerations.
Though centre has assured the CJI that extreme precaution will be taken to ensure that no unwanted persons will be appointed as a judge, under the guise of this clause, however, collegium, felt that the other safeguards were sufficient to deal with this perceived threat.
The clause on right to reject a recommendation on national interest is contrary to the current practice where government is bound to accept a recommendation by the collegium.