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Collegium is a victim of its own birth pangs, says Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

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Justice Chandrachud says citizens lack information about how judges are appointed.

Supreme Court judge, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, on Wednesday said the Collegium for appointment of judges was a “victim of its own birth pangs”.

The Collegium system does indeed suggests the notion that judges are appointing judges, Justice Chandrachud said in what may be a strident call for change from within the highest judiciary.

The observations came in the Supreme Court judge’s separate but concurrent opinion that the Office of the Chief Justice of India came within the ambit of the RTI Act.

Justice Chandrachud, who was part of a Constitution Bench, said it was true citizens were bereft of information about how their judges were appointed. He said there was a vital element of public interest in knowing about the norms which were taken into consideration for making judicial appointments.

The judge said it was time the “substantive standards” for choosing judges were formulated and placed in the public realm to “promote confidence in the appointments’ process”.

 

“Knowledge is a powerful instrument which secures consistency in application and generates the confidence that is essential to the sanctity of the process of judicial appointments. This is essentially because the Collegium system postulates that proposals for appointment of judges are initiated by the judges themselves,” Justice Chandrachud said.

He said the various standards followed by the Collegium for judicial appointments which should be put in the public domain included the performance of the candidate as a lawyer and domain specialisation to income requirements and commitment to the legal field to social orientation.

Justice Chandrachud observed that judicial appointments should reflect the promotion of the judiciary as an inclusive institution, with diversity in terms of gender, representation to minorities and the marginalised, orientation and other relevant factors.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 3:41:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/collegium-is-a-victim-of-its-own-birth-pangs-says-justice-dy-chandrachud/article29966444.ece

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