SC to make public recommendations on appointment of judges
New Delhi: In an unprecedented decision, the Supreme Court collegium has decided to put in public domain all its recommendations for the appointment, elevation and transfer of judges to various high courts and the top court from now onwards.
The top court collegium makes recommendation for the appointment and elevation of judges after examining the names sent by the Chief Justice of High Court in consultation with his two senior most colleagues.
The collegium has decided that it will also make public the reasons for recommending the names for the appointment of judges to the high courts and elevation to itself, as well as the reasons for not recommending the names of suggested candidates for appointment as judges to the high courts.
The collegium consisting of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J.Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph adopted a resolution on October 3 to "ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system".
The resolution said: "THAT the decisions henceforth taken by the Collegium indicating the reasons shall be put on the website of the Supreme Court, when the recommendation(s) is/are sent to the Government of India, with regard to the cases relating to initial elevation to the High Court Bench, confirmation as permanent Judge(s) of the High Court, elevation to the post of Chief Justice of High Court, transfer of High Court Chief Justices / Judges and elevation to the Supreme Court, because on each occasion the material which is considered by the Collegium is different".
The decision comes in the wake of a raging debate over the resignation of Justice Jayant Patel of Karnataka High Court, apparently upset over his transfer to Allahabad High Court.
Justice Patel, who was said to have been in line for becoming Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, reportedly felt slighted over his transfer to Allahabad High Court that would have denied him the chances of becoming acting Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.
There have been critics of the collegium system who say that this method of selection of judges lacks transparency and sometimes works according to whims and fancies of some of its members.
The top court collegium consisting of Chief Justice Misra, Justice Chelameswar and Justice Gogoi also cleared and recommended names of 9 judicial officers for the appointment as judges of Keral High Court and Madras High Court.
Of the 9 names recommended by the top court collegiums for appointment as High court judges, three - Ashok Menon, Annie John and Narayana Pisharadi R - are for Kerala High Court and six - R. Ramathilagam, R. Tharani, P. Rajamanickam, T. Krishnavalli, R. Pongiappan, R. Hemalatha - are for Madras High Court.
The collegiums declined the recommendations of three judicial officers for appointment as Madras High Court judges as it found them not suitable for various reasons. In one case it deferred its decision seeking more inputs from the Chief Justice of the high court on the inquiry pending against her.