The Supreme Court Bar Association and the Delhi High Court Bar Association have urged the Centre to take immediate steps to bring in a constitutional amendment to replace the collegium system with a properly constituted National Judicial Commission for appointment of judges to higher judiciary.

In a statement, SCBA president M.N. Krishnamani and DHCBA president K.C. Mittal expressed concern over the recommendation made for the elevation of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran as Supreme Court judge. They said “this shows the utter failure of the collegium system introduced by the Supreme Court in 1993 in virtual judicial amendment of the Constitution, which was very unprecedented in human history, since it is not open to the court to amend the Constitution.”

(The Supreme Court collegium of judges headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan is likely to meet later this week to consider the implications of the selection of Justice Dinakaran.)

The statement said some of the appointments made in the High Courts and now even the present selection of this judge to the Supreme Court showed that the collegium system was worse than the previous system of the Executive selecting the judges.

The signatories called for a transparent system and laying down proper criteria for selection of judges and for this purpose the National Judicial Commission should be constituted with the CJI, two senior-most Judges of the Supreme Court, the Attorney-General, the Union Law Minister, one nominee of the Leader of the Opposition, one eminent jurist nominated by the President of India and a representative from the Bar to ensure fairness in selection.

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