Amid rising demands for greater transparency in appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, the government is working on a proposal to put in place a new system to give the Executive more say in such decisions.

Under the present Collegium system, the executive has no say in appointments as the recommendations of the Collegium are final and binding on the government.

India may be among the few countries in the world where judges appoint themselves. This practice started after 1993, replacing the system of government picking judges for higher judiciary.

Under the proposal, which is in the draft stage, government plans a two-tier system with one servicing the Supreme Court and the other, the 21 High Courts of the country.

Sources in the government said under the Law Ministry proposal, a National Judicial Commission headed by the Chief Justice of India would be set up. It would also comprise an eminent jurist and the Law Minister for making appointments to the Supreme court.

For the High Courts a separate body will be set up for appointment of judges.

The move to set aside the 1993 Supreme Court judgement which led to the Collegium system will require a Constitutional amendment.

The last effort to replace the collegium system in 2003 could not succeed. The then NDA government introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill, but the Lok Sabha was dissolved when the bill was before a Standing Committee.

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