Government Can Now Reject The Appointment Of A Judge On Grounds Of National Security

The Logical Indian

March 21st, 2017 / 4:09 PM

Government Can Now Reject Appointment Of Judge

Image Source: dnaindia

Following a 17-month standoff with the Centre, the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointments to the higher judiciary was cleared by the Supreme Court collegium, thus giving power to the government to reject the appointment of judges on grounds of threat to “national security”.

After agreeing to the Centre’s stance that national security ought to be part of the criteria to determine eligibility for the appointment of the apex court judges and various High Court judges, the collegium headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and comprising Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan B Lokur decidedly also dropped its reservation about setting up secretariats in the SC and each high court to maintain databases on judges and assist the collegiums in the SC and the high courts in selection of judges.

The standoff had put on hold the appointment of nearly five SC and 500 HC judges.

While disposing off PILs which sought prompt filling of judicial vacancies, CJI Khehar said, “The MoP has been cleared. Now the filling up of vacancy in the High Courts would be increased by 25%. There is also a need to increase the post of judges in the High Courts. But the priority will be to fill the existing vacancies.”


What does the approval of the MoP mean?

HCs in India are operating at below 60% of their sanctioned strength. Following the Centre’s approval, the MoP will be adopted this week; thus raising the hopes of speedy filling up of vacancies.

Apart from the MoP giving power to the Centre to reject appointment of any candidate it deems a threat to national security, the government also has the authority to reject any recommendation of the collegium without ascribing reasons, on the same grounds.

The MoP further provides that once a recommendation has been rejected by the Centre, it will not be bound to reconsider it even after reiteration of the collegium.

This provision is in contrast to the current practice where the government is obligated to accept a recommendation made by the collegium.

As reported by India Today, former CJI TS Thakur was strictly against these MoP provisions as the government can now reject a person’s name by going against the recommendation of the collegium, if it feels that the appointment is not in the interest of the country.


How were the Supreme Court judges previously appointed?

Until the MoP for appointment of judges came along, Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution stated that Supreme Court judges would be appointed by the President of India post “consultation” with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on the recommendation of a collegium – a closed group comprising of the CJI and other senior judges.

Under the collegium system, the CJI must approve of all judicial appointment

This system was highly criticised and the government had proposed the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) in 2015 which would make the appointment of SC and HC judges more transparent as a committee comprising of members from the judiciary, legislature and civil society will appoint the judges.

However, the NJAC was rejected by the bench led by Justice Khehar as it would undermine the independence of the judiciary.

The bench asked the Centre to prepare a fresh memorandum in consultation of the CJI – the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for judicial appointments.


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Bhusan Notice Supreme Court

Govt Wants Prashant Bhushan To Be Punished Over Tweets Alleging Govt Misled SC On CBI Chief Appointment

no ram mandir

Seers Reject Yogi’s Ram Statue Plan, Say Build Temple Without Disturbing “Communal Harmony”

Arvind Kejriwal Not Consulted

Delhi: For Third Time In A Row, CM Kejriwal Not Consulted On Appointment Of Chief Secretary

Lokpal Lokayukta Act 2011

TLI Explains: 7 Years On, The Lokpal And Its Appointment

Vijay Mallya

Appointment Of ‘Tainted’ CBI Special Director Used By UK Professor To Discredit CBI To Save Vijay Mallya

Dr Bipin Batra

Dr Bipin Batra Removed As The Executive Director Of NBE Over Unapproved Appointment And NEET-PG Malpractices

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Kerala Leads The Way: Records 77.68% Voter Turnout, 3.7% Higher Than 2014 Lok Sabha Elections

News

After US Refusal To Extend Waiver, India May Stop Importing Iranian Oil

Awareness

Powerful Portfolios Lok Sabha 2019: Candidates From Major Political Parties Who Deserve To Be In Parliament

News

Karnataka: Applications Under RTE Admissions Drop To Just 17,336 From Last Session’s 1.2 Lakh

News

Telangana: Faulty Board Results Triggered 13 Student Suicides This Week. It’s Time We Pay Attention

News

Islamic State Claims Sri Lanka Attacks Which Killed 359 People; India Sent Three Alerts But Was Ignored

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.