Khurshid for new system for slot of SC, HC judges
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 19:47
New Delhi: Newly-appointed Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday favoured evolving a new system for appointment Supreme Court and High Court judges and said all stakeholders should be taken on board before going ahead with the "transformation".

"Now (with) the vast experience of all these years and the emergence of new challenges, people are beginning to think of a new generation institution to look after appointment of judges. And we will certainly want to push that as quickly as possible but after ensuring that we take everybody on board," Khurshid said soon after assuming office.

He said for a while both retired judges and some sitting judges, Chief Justices and people who are familiar with legal institutions in government and Parliament have been reflecting on the issue.

"It is very important that reform and transformation does not appear as a confrontation. It has to be something that must be seen as an evolution from one level of existence to a higher level of existence. And I do believe there is ample consensus amongst various stakeholders on this," he said.

The Minister said at a given time it was assumed that the best system of appointment was the collegium system.

Asked whether he meant the present system was being changed, he said "evolved is the word. Evolution is the response of nature to the needs of time. That is what evolution is, and evolution is what I am thinking of."

His predecessor M Veerappa Moily was contemplating certain changes in the Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges under which the executive will have more say.

Asked whether there was a divergence of views between the executive and the judiciary, Khurshid said both were looking in the same direction "to provide a transparent and effective system in the democracy of policing ourselves and giving the best governance."

But, he agreed that at times "of course there is divergence in terms of priorities or articulation".

"I think that divergence has to be worked upon...both sides understand it is important to continue formal and informal dialogue and not be distracted by specific issues on which we may have different compulsions. We should appreciate each other's compulsions," he said.

The Minister said the "pragmatic and practical difficulties" of running of political system were "not alien to the judiciary because the judiciary also ultimately comes from the same system."

He said at times the government needs to persuade and present more effectively to the judiciary "and that we will try".


First Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 19:47

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