Supreme Court seeks public opinion on collegium system of appointing judges

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till November 13 the time for inviting suggestions to make the functioning of collegium system transparent.

Updated: Nov 05, 2015, 15:31 PM IST
Supreme Court seeks public opinion on collegium system of appointing judges

New Delhi: After ruling out making "wholesale changes" in the collegium system of appointment of judges for higher judiciary, the Supreme Court on Thursday sought public opinion on improvement in the existing system.

The apex court invited suggestions from public to be given on the website of Ministry of Law & Justice till November 13.

An apex court constitution bench headed by Justice AS Khehar said that all the suggestions should reach the ministry of law and justice till 5 pm on November 13, which in turn will forward them to senior counsel Arvind Dattar and Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand to collate them.

All the suggestions will be limited on the point of transparency in the working of the collegium, eligibility criteria for the selection of judges, setting up of a permanent secretariat of the collegium and the procedure for entertaining the complaints in respect of the candidates being considered for judgeship.

The top court appointed 3-member committee to select lawyers to argue the case, which consists of Attorney General, Bar council of India chairman and senior lawyer Fali Nariman.

The SC on Tuesday ruled out making "wholesale changes" in the collegium system of appointment of judges for higher judciary, but expressed its willingness to evolve a greater transparency "within the existing parameters".

"There can't be wholesale changes in the collegium system. It has to be within the existing parameters," a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice JS Khehar said while elaborating about the "tremendous" and "diverse nature" of "unimaginable" suggestions received by the apex court after the landmark judgement of October 16 quashing the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act.

"There are so many suggestions. They are so diverse in nature that we don't know how to proceed in the matter. The diversity is tremendous, unimaginable. It is not possible for us to say we accept this suggestion or deny the other.”