The Collegium System and Supreme Court

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By admin November 21, 2013 10:30 Updated

The Collegium System and Supreme Court

Story Highlights

  • Duo no commodo senserit.
  • Eam ne debitis singulis.
  • Ut his wisi perpetua omittantur, clita qualisque ex vix.

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Introduction
The system of checks and balances coined in the context of governance has been in place to keep a tab on abuse of powers and check unbridled authority, unfettered powers and uncontrolled corruption.
The judicial system, has ever since the inception of the constitution, been revered and won accolades for maintaining the rule of law and acting as the real purveyor of democracy. But the recent controversy regarding the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary [the high courts and the supreme court] through the collegium system and a contemplation for a revisit of the procedure for ensuring greater transparency and accountability and maintaining efficiency in administration has created a flutter amongst the legal fraternity and raised eyebrows as well as garnered support for appointment by this process. It is in this context that the collegium system needs to be analyzed and interpreted.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Under the constitutional scheme of things, judges of the higher courts [Supreme Court and High Courts] shall be appointed by the President after consultation in the case of judges of Supreme Court by such judges of Supreme Court and High Court as he may deem necessary [Art 124 (2)].
Provided that in appointment of a judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India shall always be consulted, and in the case of a judge of a High Court after consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State [Art 217 (1)] and in the case of a judge other than the Chief Justice the Chief Justice of High Court.
The language of the Constitution does not speak of appointment by the present collegium system which clearly and unequivocally gives the power to appoint such judges by the President. The present system emerged when the word ‘consultation’ was subjected to strict scrutiny and intense examination on the judicial scales of interpretation which resulted in the emergence of two judgments of the Court.

admin
By admin November 21, 2013 10:30 Updated
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