In an unprecedented move that signals greater participation for the State governments in selection of judges, the Centre has written to the Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts across the country, inviting their inputs on selection of High Court judges.
The idea to involve the State governments is one of the proposals made by the Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench on December 16 to improve the collegium system of judicial appointments. Over 400 judicial vacancies remain to be filled.
The December 16 order of a five-judge Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar, which had earlier struck down the NJAC laws, had asked the Centre to consult State governments and take their views into consideration before drafting the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges to the High Courts.
Confirming his correspondence with the Chief Ministers, Union Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said the Centre was following the Supreme Court’s instructions closely.
“I have asked the Chief Ministers and the Chief Justices of the High Courts for their inputs. Their suggestions are important as the State government and the State judiciary provide infrastructure and administrative assistance in the judicial appointments process,” said Mr. Gowda.