Collegium system satisfactory despite shortcomings: Ex-judge
The collegium system of appointment of judges has so far worked satisfactorily, and though some discrepancies have come to the fore lately, the alternative may be worse, a former apex court judge said Sunday.
"Therefore, it's imperative to delve upon all the pros and cons of the old and the new system," said Justice (retd.) G.S. Singhvi.
Speaking at a seminar on "Appointment of judges, accountability and lawyers", organised by the Indian Association of Lawyers here, he also suggested appointment of judicial ombudsman to probe allegations of misconduct against the Supreme Court and high court judges.
Singhvi said this ombudsman should undertake a complete inquiry within a specified time on the person being considered for the judgeship of the Supreme Court and the high court, and on its basis a decision should be taken by the president within specific timeframe.
Press Council of India chairman and former apex court judge Markandey Katju's allegations of corruption in the judiciary recently kicked up a row.
Katju in his blog last Sunday said an additional judge of the Madras High Court was appointed during the UPA regime despite an Intelligence Bureau report that he was involved in corruption.
Senior advocate from Punjab R.S. Cheema laid stress on transparent system that draws best talent not on the basis of seniority but suitability for the post of judge. He advocated the need for a national judicial service exam for appointment of judges.
Another senior advocate, Niloufer Bhagwat from Mumbai, stressed on the need of independence of judiciary, while Indian Association of Lawyers president Jitendra Sharma said the selection process of judges should be open and the names being considered should be disclosed to public.
He said the selection process should have wider consultation process and should not be held in secretive manner. Consultation with the Bar was very important to know the credentials of the person being considered for the post, he added.
(Posted on 27-07-2014)