Judiciary must appoint judges, says SC lawyer

Supreme Court advocate Prashanth Bhushan said judges of the Supreme Court and high courts must be appointed by an organisation which is not controlled by the government.

He said judges must be appointed by the judiciary. “But there is a need to bring in more transparency in the collegium system too,’’ he said.

Speaking at a seminar on Judicial Appointments, Administration and Performance Evaluation organised by Daksh and CJAR, he said, there is a need for guidelines while appointing judges.

“The candidate for the post of judge should be gauged on his/her eligibility, knowledge of law, integrity, work. The list must be prepared and public opinion is a must before appointing any candidate as judge,” Bhushan said. The Centre has framed the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) and is trying to have the ultimate power in appointing judges. But this is unconstitutional, he said.

The Supreme Court should have framed the MoP and an autonomous organisation which is not influenced by the Centre should take decisions on appointment of judges.

Former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde said there are a lot of loopholes in the collegium system of appointing judges. The Centre has come up with the National Judicial Appointments Commission which is a good system and has a lot of transparency.

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