Supreme Court nixed govt’s proposal on collegium, says Rijiju

The minister said that this would pave the way for a more transparent, accountable and expeditious mechanism for appointment of judges to the Constitutional courts.

Published: 03rd February 2023 08:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2023 08:06 AM   |  A+A-

Kiren Rijiju

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said that the Centre’s suggestion for 
a search and evaluation committee (SEC) – at the levels of the Supreme Court and state High Courts to assist collegiums – was shot down by judges of the apex court. 

The proposed committee, which the Supreme Court did not agree to constitute, would be tasked with screening and evaluating relevant material on prospective candidates and act as a facilitator for the 
collegiums in narrowing down on recommendations. 

Responding to a question by MP Shri Ram Nath Thakur whether the government is heading towards appointing its representative in the process of appointment of judges in the Rajya Sabha, Rijiju said, “In its consultations with the SC 

Collegium, the government has made suggestions in line with the Supreme Court order dated 2015. The decision to make recommendations will continue to be exercised by the respective collegiums of the Supreme Court and state High Courts. However, the Supreme Court did not agree to set up such committees.”

Clarifying that the government never suggested for inclusion of its nominee in collegium for appointment of judges, the minister said that the government on January 6 had, however, recommended for inclusion of a government nominee in the search-cum-evaluation committee in appointment of Judges in the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts. 

The minister said that this would pave the way for a more transparent, accountable and expeditious mechanism for appointment of judges to the Constitutional courts. Rijiju further said that it suggested for inclusion of representative nominated by the Government of India and a representative of state governments under the jurisdiction of HC as nominated by the chief ministers in Committee for appointing HC judges. 

On the appointment and transfer of Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts, Rijiju said the names recommended by chief ministers can be received by the committee along with the names taken from senior judges outside the Collegium and eligible candidates taken from the database (Judicial Officers and Advocates) as maintained by the proposed Secretariat. The High Court Collegium may deliberate upon panel of names drawn up by the committee and recommend the names of most suitable candidates,” the reply said. 

Centre asked collegium to reconsider 18 names
Centre asked the SC collegium to reconsider 18 proposals for appointments of judges as on January 31, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. To a question by MP Dr John Brittas, the Rijiju said that of the 18 returned proposals, the collegium decided to reiterate 6, and sought inputs from the High Courts, while returning 5 back to the High Courts


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