Apex Court, govt face-off likely over picking judges
NEW DELHI: A panel of top three Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur has overruled the Centre’s objection to 43 names cleared by the collegium for appointment as judges to the high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
The panel met on November 16 and stood by its decision on the names, while returning the file back to the Centre that had asked the collegium to reconsider its recommendations.
The Centre and the top court are at loggerheads over judicial appointments since the SC struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act. The law was brought in to end the more than 20-year-old practice, unique to India, of judges appointing judges under the collegium system, with the government having no say in the process. “We have reiterated 43 names for HC judges. You can inform the government and ask them to go ahead with the process to appoint them,” a bench headed by Thakur told attorney general Mukul Rohatgi.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions pointing out shortage of judges in HCs and seeking a direction to the government to speed up the appointments.