SC collegium's historic decision throws up new challenges

SC collegium's historic decision throws up new challenges

The Supreme Court Collegium’s decision to make public reasons for selection of judges has thrown up fresh challenges.

The judicial officers who were not elevated could now find it difficult to reconcile with their rejection as question marks would arise on their continuance in office.

Bringing in transparency in its decision-making process, the Collegium on Friday put on its website reasons for elevating six judicial officers to the Madras High Court and three to the Kerala High Court.

Along with the recommendations, the factors that were considered were also put on the Supreme Court website.

In all the cases, the Collegium disclosed views of the consultee-judges, annual confidential reports and the judgement assessment report with regard to the candidates.

In case of one judicial member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Kolkata, the Collegium recorded in its findings that one of the two consultee-colleagues offered no views about his suitability while the other colleague has not found him suitable.

The Collegium further noted, “His name (ITAT member) was also recommended by the Collegium of the Calcutta High Court on 28.11.2016 and the Government of West Bengal has expressed its disagreement.”

It also said that the record showed that the proposal for his elevation initiated on a previous occasion by the Collegium of the Bombay High Court was rejected by the Supreme Court Collegium on August 1, 2013.

In case of the two judicial officers, whose names were sent for elevation to the Madras High Court, the Collegium noted, “Keeping in view the material on record, including the report of the Intelligence Bureau,” both were not found suitable.

In another case of a woman judicial officer, the Collegium deferred its decision “in view of a pending inquiry against her in the high court.”

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