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Supreme Court expresses displeasure against centre's 'sitting over Collegium recommendations' remark

Earlier, the Union minister had said that the Centre cannot be accused of 'sitting over recommendations' made by the Collegium and the judges' body cannot expect the government to simply sign off on all the recommendations made by it.

Supreme Court expresses displeasure against centre's 'sitting over Collegium recommendations' remark AJR
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First Published Nov 28, 2022, 2:54 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Monday (November 28) minced no words in expressing anguish towards Centre for sitting over proposals reiterated by the Collegium for appointment as judges.

Heading a division bench, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul wondered if the recommendations are being withheld on account of Government's discontent with non-implementation of NJAC.

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"The issue is, names are not being cleared. How does the system work? We have expressed our anguish…It appears that the Govt is not happy that the NJAC has not passed the muster. Can that be the reason to not clear the names?" he said.

Earlier on Friday, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju trained his guns on the Collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts, terming it 'alien' to the Constitution of India.

The Union minister said that the Centre cannot be accused of 'sitting over recommendations' made by the Collegium and the judges' body cannot expect the government to simply sign off on all the recommendations made by it.

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Addressing a summit, the Union minister said, "There are loopholes in the Collegium and thus, people are now raising voices that the Collegium system is not transparent, there is a bit of opacity, there is no accountability. Thus, don't say we (government) are sitting on the files but if you want to say so, then appoint judges on your own and run the show then."

He further stated that the government will respect the Collegium system till it is replaced by a better system but until then, the government will do its due diligence before acting on Collegium recommendations.

"When this alien system (Collegium) was introduced, the government of that day and even we very well respected this system until and unless it was replaced with a better system. What I am saying is that as long as this system is prevailing we will respect it. But if you expect that the government should merely sign every recommendation, then what is the role of the government? What does the oath due diligence mean?" Rijiju asked.

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These comments came to light over the recent tussle between the judiciary and the executive. Rijiju said that the two pillars of democracy have no other option but to work together.

"Government and judiciary will have to work together for the service of the people. There is no question of fighting for supremacy or tug of war. In fact, it is a question for the service of the nation. I am bound by the Constitution and if there is anything alien to it, people would question it," Rijiju clarified.

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