Sunday, May 8, 2016

SC collegium objects to clauses giving govt right to reject recommendation of judges

NB: The efforts of the RSS/BJP to alter the basic structure of the constitution continue unabated after the rejection of their NJAC scheme. Why should the government of the day decide that an appointment of a judge is against the 'national interest'? By now it is clear that the ruling dispensation has a selfish and communalised idea of the national interest. How can they presume to impose their ideas upon the highest court in the land? This court was deliberately kept separate from the flux of public opinion by India's constitution makers to ensure that its function as guardian of the basic structure of the constitution would be impervious to ideological considerations. Some of the negative comments beneath the news article show that their authors are unaware of the basic distinction between the government of the day and the State - i.e. the Indian Union. The Sangh Parivar is applying its tried and tested methods of attaining its political aims via subterfuge and misuse of political power. Citizens including paid officials of the state should remain alert and we may thank the SC Collegium for objecting to this clause. DS

The Supreme Court collegium which examined the revised Memorandum of Procedure regarding appointment of judges to the apex court and the high courts, is learnt to have objected to a clause in which the government reserves the right to reject a recommendation on concerns of national interest.

The clause is contrary to the current practice where government is bound to accept a recommendation by the collegium, which comprises four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and the CJI, if it reiterates it. The memorandum, a document which guides the appointment of SC and HC judges, was revised after a Supreme Court bench asked the government to rewrite it in a bid to make the collegium system more transparent.

The memorandum was sent to Chief Justice of India T S Thakur by law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in March. Now, the SC collegium headed by the CJI, after going into the document is learnt to have objected to at least two clauses. According to one of the clauses, the collegium’s recommendation can be rejected by the government if it feels the appointment is not in the overall interest of the country.

The MoP also says once the Centre has rejected a recommendation it will not be bound to reconsider it even after reiteration by the collegium. The other clause which the collegium is learnt to have objected to is that the Attorney General at the Centre and Advocates General in the states should have a say in recommending candidates for appointment and elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts. This clause gives the Centre as well as the state governments an indirect say in naming candidates for the post of SC or HC judge. Sources said while the draft of the memorandum of procedure is still with the SC collegium, the objections have been conveyed to the government.

Addressing a press conference on April 24 after the joint conference of chief justices and chief ministers here, the CJI had said the core of the document, based on a Supreme Court judgment, will remain “unaltered” that the collegium will make a recommendation. “Things like the number of judgments a candidate has delivered are contributory in nature,” he had said.

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"The masterminds of the 26/11 attacks are treated like heroes in Pakistan. We are not there yet, but if hidden hands nudge the judicial system to free murderers of the saffron variety, we will be soon"