Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Plea Against Collegium System

Author : Nimisha Nayak

Updated On : February 14, 2024

SHARE

Overview: In a significant move, the Supreme Court of India has decided to form a bench to address a petition that raises concerns about the Collegium system, which is used for the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and Higher Judiciary.

This decision, announced on January 8, 2024, follows a plea urgently brought to the attention of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud by an advocate. The move comes in the wake of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul's comments in a December 2023 interview with PTI (Press Trust of India), where he critically discussed the 'faults' in the current Collegium system.

Understanding the Collegium System
The Collegium system, a unique feature of the Indian Judiciary, wasn't established by law or the Constitution but evolved through Supreme Court judgments. A brief timeline of its evolution:
- First Judges Case (1981): It was ruled that the Chief Justice of India's recommendations for judicial appointments and transfers could be rejected with a valid reason, giving more power to the government.
- Second Judges Case (1993): This case introduced the Collegium system, requiring consensus for the CJI's recommendations and emphasizing the collective nature of the decision.
- Third Judges Case (1998): Expanded the Collegium to include the CJI and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. The High Court collegium mirrors this structure at the state level. The government's role in judicial appointments is limited to the post-finalization phase by the Collegium.

Criticism and Calls for Reform:
The Collegium system has faced criticism for being opaque and potentially fostering nepotism. Concerns over its secretive nature, possible favouritism, and the exclusion of talented junior judges and lawyers have been raised. Critics argue that it might not effectively discover and promote new legal talents. In 2015, an attempt to replace the system with a 'National Judicial Appointments Commission' was struck down by the court, citing concerns over judicial independence.

Nepotism Concerns:
The Collegium system has been accused of nepotism and favouritism. A 2009 Law Commission report observed that these issues were prevalent in its functioning, sparking further debates over its efficacy.

Recent Initiatives Towards Reform:
Efforts to improve the judicial appointment process have been ongoing. In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the government to draft a revised Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) to enhance transparency in the Collegium's decision-making process. Although completed in 2017, the new MoP has yet to be implemented, with the government calling for a reevaluation.

The formation of the new bench by the Supreme Court to address these concerns marks a potentially transformative moment in the history of the Indian Judiciary. It signifies a willingness to introspect and possibly reform a system that has been integral yet controversial in the appointment of judges in India's higher judiciary.

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Plea Against Collegium System

Author : Nimisha Nayak

February 14, 2024

SHARE

Overview: In a significant move, the Supreme Court of India has decided to form a bench to address a petition that raises concerns about the Collegium system, which is used for the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and Higher Judiciary.

This decision, announced on January 8, 2024, follows a plea urgently brought to the attention of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud by an advocate. The move comes in the wake of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul's comments in a December 2023 interview with PTI (Press Trust of India), where he critically discussed the 'faults' in the current Collegium system.

Understanding the Collegium System
The Collegium system, a unique feature of the Indian Judiciary, wasn't established by law or the Constitution but evolved through Supreme Court judgments. A brief timeline of its evolution:
- First Judges Case (1981): It was ruled that the Chief Justice of India's recommendations for judicial appointments and transfers could be rejected with a valid reason, giving more power to the government.
- Second Judges Case (1993): This case introduced the Collegium system, requiring consensus for the CJI's recommendations and emphasizing the collective nature of the decision.
- Third Judges Case (1998): Expanded the Collegium to include the CJI and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. The High Court collegium mirrors this structure at the state level. The government's role in judicial appointments is limited to the post-finalization phase by the Collegium.

Criticism and Calls for Reform:
The Collegium system has faced criticism for being opaque and potentially fostering nepotism. Concerns over its secretive nature, possible favouritism, and the exclusion of talented junior judges and lawyers have been raised. Critics argue that it might not effectively discover and promote new legal talents. In 2015, an attempt to replace the system with a 'National Judicial Appointments Commission' was struck down by the court, citing concerns over judicial independence.

Nepotism Concerns:
The Collegium system has been accused of nepotism and favouritism. A 2009 Law Commission report observed that these issues were prevalent in its functioning, sparking further debates over its efficacy.

Recent Initiatives Towards Reform:
Efforts to improve the judicial appointment process have been ongoing. In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the government to draft a revised Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) to enhance transparency in the Collegium's decision-making process. Although completed in 2017, the new MoP has yet to be implemented, with the government calling for a reevaluation.

The formation of the new bench by the Supreme Court to address these concerns marks a potentially transformative moment in the history of the Indian Judiciary. It signifies a willingness to introspect and possibly reform a system that has been integral yet controversial in the appointment of judges in India's higher judiciary.

ABOUT TOP RANKERS

Toprankers, launched in 2016, is India’s most preferred digital counselling & preparation platform for careers beyond engineering & medicine. We envision to build awareness and increase the success rate for lucrative career options after 12th. We offer best learning practices and end-to-end support to every student preparing for management, humanities, law, judiciary & design entrances.

E

: support@toprankers.com

P

: +91-7676564400

Social Channels

App Badge

Chat to Toprankers Team