Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and AS Oka’s bench also advised the government against issuing court orders to guarantee that the Collegium’s recommendations are approved.
On Monday, the Supreme Court expressed disapproval of comments made by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on the Collegium system of selecting justices and the government’s failure to approve Collegium proposals.
Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and AS Oka’s bench also advised the government against issuing court orders to guarantee that the Collegium’s recommendations be approved.
“I have disregarded all journalistic reports, Mr. Attorney General, but this came from a high enough position and included an interview. I won’t say anything further. If necessary, we will choose, “Justice Kaul addressed the Central government’s attorney general, R. Venkataramani.
“Please resolve this and don’t make us take a judicial decision in this regard,” the bench added.
Even though the bench avoided naming names, it alluded to the Times Now Summit interview that Law Minister Rijiu gave.
Rijiju stated that the Collegium cannot accuse the Central government of “sitting over proposals” and that the judges’ body cannot expect the government to approve all of its recommendations.
The law minister had added that the government would respect the Collegium system until a superior one was put in place. Meanwhile, it would conduct proper research before acting on Collegium proposals.
On Monday, the Supreme Court emphasized that while the government may express its disagreement with the Collegium’s conclusions, it cannot merely withhold names without expressing any misgivings.
“You cannot hold the names back without stating your reservations. I did not comment on the High Court names since four months had not elapsed, but these names have been pending for 1.5 years. You are frustrating the method of appointment; we only issued notice to find out the problem,” the bench said.
The Centre’s inability to process the names nominated for the appointment was in clear violation of the Second Judges case, according to a petition filed by the Advocates Association of Bengaluru before the Court.
“There are established deadlines that must be followed. So many suggestions are still pending. If there isn’t an exemption, the timeframe must be followed, and good people must join the bench. Most of the suggested names have gone over the four-month restriction nothing to tell us, “Today’s bench statement.
It further lamented the impact such delays were having on judge seniority.
“Once the names have been reiterated. It is crossing rubicons by keeping names like this. What happens is you completely disturb the seniority; Collegium considers all this, “The Court commented.
After the Attorney General and Solicitor General promised the Court that they would look into the problem, it ultimately deferred the subject for hearing on December 8.