Collegium reiterates objections to draft memo [Polity]
The Supreme Court collegium has reiterated its rejection of several crucial clauses in govt’s draft Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges.
The collegium, which had convened recently, has taken offence to how the government wants merit to be the overriding concern and not seniority, as is the norm, of judges during appointment and elevation.
The collegium has said both merit and seniority should be balanced.
Again, the government wants a panel of retired judges to vet the applications of judicial candidates before they are forwarded to the collegium for its recommendations.
Besides, the government wants the authority to reject a judicial candidate citing national security reasons despite the collegium’s recommendations.
Finally, the government wants the Attorney-General of India and Advocates General of States to have a role in the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges, respectively.
Presently, the government is bound to comply if the Supreme Court collegium chooses to override its disapproval of a person recommended for judicial appointment. If the government returns the candidate’s file to collegium & latter reiterates its recommendation, the government has no choice but to comply.
In December 2015, a Constitution Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar, after restoring the collegium system, had directed the Centre to frame a new Memorandum of Procedure (MoP).