SC slams delay in appointment of judges to constitutional courts

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Feb 2018 3:34pm

SC slams delay in appointment of judges to constitutional courts

New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, slammed the long drawn delay in appointment of judges to various constitutional courts across the country. It came down heavily on executive’s tendency to delay the appointment of judges to constitutional courts. The court felt it is more pronounced ever since the apex court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC) and replaced it with the collegium system of “judges selecting judges”.

This observation comes in backdrop of delay by executive in appointment of Uttarakhand chief justice K M Joseph and senior advocate Indu Malhotra as judges of the SC even though collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra unanimously recommended their names.

It stated on one side executive delays appointment and on the other side in case of High Courts, even the High Court collegiums are late in recommending names.

The bench said there should be definite time frame, both for the judiciary to recommend names for appointment as judges and the executive to effect the appointments, to “keep hope and aspirations of litigants for speedy justice alive”.

Here one can recall the situation in Allahabad High Court where despite the huge pendency, the appointments were made one year after the collegium headed by then CJI T S Thakur had recommended names.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Bhushan said nearly 25 years ago, when SC had taken over the executive’s constitutionally mandated power to appoint judges, it had “categorically stated that the process of appointment must be initiated at least one month before the date of vacancy”.

SC further expressed its concern on state of affairs in High Courts. It said first only those judicial officers are appointed who have less number of service left and this further gets reduced as their appointment is delayed by executive. It has a cascading effect on the career of those whose names are recommended as well as on the functioning of courts in discharging their duties.

Tagged: NJAC   CJI   SC  
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