SC collegium objects to clauses that give govt say in appointment of judges

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court collegium which examined the revised Memorandum of Procedure regarding appointment of judges to the apex court and the high courts, is learnt to have objected to a clause in which the government reserves the right to reject a recommendation on concerns of national interest.
The clause is contrary to the current practice where government is bound to accept a recommendation by the collegium, which comprises four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court and the CJI, if it reiterates it.
The memorandum, a document which guides the appointment of SC and HC judges, was revised after a Supreme Court bench asked the government to rewrite it in a bid to make the collegium system more transparent.
The memorandum was sent to Chief Justice of India T S Thakur by law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in March.
Now, the SC collegium headed by the CJI, after going into the document is learnt to have objected to at least two clauses.
According to one of the clauses, the collegium’s recommendation can be rejected by the government if it feels the appointment is not in the overall interest of the country.
The MoP also says once the Centre has rejected a recommendation it will not be bound to reconsider it even after reiteration by the collegium.
The other clause which the collegium is learnt to have objected to is that the Attorney General at the Centre and Advocates General in the states should have a say in recommending candidates for appointment and elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.
This clause gives the Centre as well as the state governments an indirect say in naming candidates for the post of SC or HC judge.
Sources said while the draft of the memorandum of procedure is still with the SC collegium, the objections have been conveyed to the government.
Addressing a press conference on April 24 after the joint conference of chief justices and chief ministers here, the CJI had said the core of the document, based on a Supreme Court judgment, will remain “unaltered” that the collegium will make a recommendation.
“Things like the number of judgments a candidate has delivered are contributory in nature,” he had said. (AGENCIES)