NEW DELHI: Taking note of the slow pace of judicial appointments, mainly due to the Centre not clearing them, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Ministry of Law and Justice to come out with guidelines on the timelines on taking decisions on the recommendations made by the Collegium.
“If you don’t give comments for five months on collegium recommendations, it is a matter of great concern,” Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed while pointing out that there were recommendations sent by the High Courts of Bombay and Allahabad in May or June last year.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and Justices SK Kaul and Surya Kant made the observations while hearing a plea seeking the appointment of additional judges in High Courts. “Government has taken more than a year to respond. You say something is pending with Intelligence Bureau and some Chief Minister has not responded.
But we want to know your (Centre) timeline,” Justice Kant said. During the hearing, Justice Kaul remarked that in “5 months, the Collegium has cleared 9 judges and 6 are pending with the government. Out of that 4 are government counsels. We need the update on pending names as on January 29.
Suppose you have reservations and send back names to us, then we can reiterate. But if you don’t give comments for five months on collegium recommendation, it is a matter of great concern.” Attorney General Venugopal informed the bench that the pendency of recommendations was brought down from 150 to 104 last December.