Only from a mains perspective. Important to understand – MOP, Security Clause, RTI, JSA Bill.
In October 2015, the SC bench in a majority of 4:1 rejected the NJAC Act and 99th Constitutional Amendment and Collegium was brought back in. The grounds stated were the following :
1. Primacy of the judiciary was not ensured which was mandatory for independence of Judiciary
2. Active role of executive was not desirable as the govt. was the litigant more than 60% of the times.
3. Other minor issues on eminent personality, etc.
FM Arun Jaitley criticized the ruling as “democracy becoming tyranny of the unelected”. To which former CJI Justice Lodha replied stating when the will of the people through elected representatives is opposed to the constitution, the judiciary ought to be governed by the latter.
Interestingly, one positive development out of this chaos has been judiciary’s acceptance of the flaws in the collegium system and its willingness to work with the executive to evolve it.
In this regard, the SC asked the Govt. to work on a revised MoP addressing the following issues of the Collegium –
1. Opaque working
2. Lack of objectivity
3. Lack of accountability
4. Missing broad-based consultations.
The revised MoP proposed the following
Nominations – Proposal is to setup a Technical Committee. This committee will accept nominations and hold wider consultations to select the best candidates.
Eligibility – a) The prime criteria will be Seniority along with b) Merit and integrity. In case a senior Chief Justice being overlooked for elevation reasons for the same be recorded in writing.
Permanent Secretariat : maintaining records of high court judges, scheduling meetings of the SC Collegium, receiving recommendations as well as complaints in matters related to appointments, scrutinize data relating to prospective appointees, and lays down a judicial mechanism for redress of complaints against judges.
Points of contention
Most of the points mentioned above stand sorted except for the Security Clause.
Security Clause : The clause under which Govt will have powers to reject any candidate recommended by the collegium on grounds of public interest and national security. Revised draft proposes that the government will communicate to the collegium the reasons for rejecting any name recommended by it.
The names are not important but the appointment. Do revise basics on judges appointment from your polity book.
This shows the grim situation of appointment of judges. Revise some of the issues from here and from your own notes.
This report is very important from mains point of view. Revise your notes on NJAC and previous conflicts between the judiciary and the executive.
These recommendations are important from mains point of view. It represents the ongoing battle between the judiciary and executive over appointments and the huge shortfall in the no. of judges India has. Even though the supremacy/independence of the judiciary is maintained under the present Collegium system, but the system is very opaque. Recently SC judge Chelameswar boycotted Collegium meetings to protest the lack of transparency.
Importance: The SC often blames the govt for delays in appointments. This news indicates that there are delays due to the judiciary also.
To focus on transparency, eligibility criteria, secretariat of Collegium, complaint redressal mechanism.
The extent of disclosure and effective working of the model is likely to be heard and decided by the five-judge bench starting 3 November
This move would ensure that information pertaining to appointment of a particular candidate to the higher judiciary is available to everybody, Isn’t it?