SC to set date for hearing of plea seeking 'abolition' of collegium system

SC to set date for hearing of plea seeking 'abolition' of collegium system

In an urgent mentioning before Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, advocate Mathews Nedumpara said the case had been mentioned multiple times, but the Registry had still not listed it for hearing

Jal khambataUpdated: Monday, April 24, 2023, 03:28 PM IST
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SC to set date for hearing of plea seeking 'abolition' of collegium system | File

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it will provide a date for the hearing of a petition seeking the “abolition” of the collegium system of judicial appointments to the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

In an urgent mentioning before Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, advocate Mathews Nedumpara said the case had been mentioned multiple times, but the Registry had still not listed it for hearing.

Chief Justice Chandrachud said Justice S.K. Kaul was unwell and a Constitution Bench hearing is currently ongoing.

Justice Kaul is part of the Constitution Bench hearing a petition seeking the legal recognition of same-sex marriage through a judicial declaration.

“Please give a date, it could be before the summer vacations or even after the holidays in July,” Nedumpara urged.

“We will give a date,” the Chief Justice assured.

Nedumpara said one of the petitioners has been coming every time the case is mentioned.

“We do not need exhibits here. No one has to come in person here,” the Chief Justice shot back.

Petition has sought the revival of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)

The petition has sought the revival of the National Judicial Appointments Commission or NJAC, which briefly gave the government an equal role along with the judiciary in the appointment of judges to the constitutional courts before it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015.

The petition was filed a few months ago amidst the verbal attacks by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on the collegium system, calling it opaque.

It said the Constitution Bench judgment of October 2015 had thwarted the “will of the people” by striking down the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act which introduced the NJAC mechanism.

The petition has said the 2015 judgment should be rendered void ab initio as it had revived the collegium system. The petitioners called the collegium system a “synonym for nepotism and favouritism”.

It has said repeated representations to the Centre to evolve an alternative mechanism to the collegium system fell on deaf ears, prompting the petitioners to approach the Supreme Court.

In one of the earlier mentionings, Chief Justice Chandrachud had pointed out to Nedumpara that the collegium system was introduced through a nine-judge Bench judgment in 1993. The CJI had wondered whether a judgment could be challenged through a writ petition.

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