Set up Benches of Supreme Court and High Courts: SCBA, BCI

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Bar Council of India (BCI) have great expectations from Justice P. Sathasivam, who has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India. Describing Justice Sathasivam as a “very popular judge known for his compassion, lawyer-friendly and a judge with pleasant temperament,” SCBA president M.N. Krishnamani said the association had high hopes in the CJI-designate.

“I have already placed a request to the present Chief Justice of India and to Justice P. Sathasivam that members of the Supreme Court Bar Association who are very competent be considered for appointment to various High Courts. Both of them agreed to this suggestion. I am confident that something concrete will be done in this direction,” Mr. Krishnamani said in a statement.

Referring to the demand for new Benches of High Courts, he said if it was conceded, arrears problem as well as the distant-justice problem might be solved.

However, Mr. Krishnamani does not agree with Justice Sathasivam’s claim that the collegium system of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts is good. It “is an utter failure. Only nepotism and favouritism rule the roost today in this system. This system was the court’s creation by virtually rewriting the Constitution. It is the previous system which produced great stalwarts Justice Patanjali Sastri, Justice Vivian Bose, Justice Bhagwati, Justice Krishna Iyer and the like. The collegium system lacks in transparency. It does not have the checks and balances which the earlier system had and which enabled at least 60% of meritorious candidates to come to the High Courts. The collegium system has only encouraged mediocrity. It has to be replaced with a broad-based National Judicial Commission with even laypeople as members like in other developed countries.”

Congratulating Justice Sathasivam, BCI Chairman Mannan Kumar Misra and member S. Prabhakaran requested him to consider the demand for setting up regional Benches of the Supreme Court as recommended by the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice.

They pointed out that the committee had repeatedly urged the Centre to take up with the CJI the question of setting up Benches in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata to provide justice to the poor who could not visit Delhi.

More In: National | News