SC favours revealing eligibility criteria for appointing judges'

SC favours revealing eligibility criteria for appointing judges'

Favouring making public the eligibility criteria for appointment of judges, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to supplement the existing Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), providing for a complaint redressal mechanism against the aspirants, among others.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided over by Justice J S Khehar asked the government to ensure establishment of a secretariat for each high court and the apex court and prescribe its functions, duties and responsibilities.

“The MoP may provide for an appropriate procedure for minuting the discussions, including recording the dissenting opinion of the judges in the collegium while making provision for the confidentiality of the minutes consistent with the requirement of transparency in the system of appointment of judges,” the bench said.

The bench also said that the MoP may provide for any other matter considered appropriate for ensuring transparency and accountability, including interaction with the recommendee(s) by the collegium, without sacrificing the confidentiality of the process.

In its nine-page order, the bench said the Memorandum of Procedure, previously prepared on June 30, 1999 on the basis of previous apex court judgments (Second and Third Judges cases), may be supplemented by the Union government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

“The CJI will take a decision based on the unanimous view of the collegium comprising the four senior-most puisne Judges of the Supreme Court,” the bench said. The MoP lays down the process for appointment of judges in high courts and the Supreme Court.


After invalidating the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, the SC had on October 16 revived the collegium system for appointment of judges. The collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four senior most judges in the apex court. The court had, however, agreed to incorporate suggestions for improving the collegium system.

In the process, the court which received 11,500-page written suggestions from the government, senior advocates, and other civil society members, agreed to the plea by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the task of re-drawing the MoP should be entrusted to the Union government. However, the bench, also comprising justices J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh K Goel, asked the government to consider several factors, including putting the eligibility criteria like the age of candidates for HC and SC judges on website, maintain transparency, establish secretariat and complaint redressal mechanism for the purpose.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry