Judges appointment: SC to hear plea against ‘delay’

Court will also hear a petition against “wilful disobedience” of the time-frame laid down by the apex court in its April 20, 2021 order to facilitate a timely appointment of judges.

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NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court will hear on Monday two petitions, including the one alleging a delay on the Centre’s part in clearing the names recommended by the collegium for appointment and transfer of judges.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sudhanshu Dhulia and Sandeep Mehta had earlier scheduled for Monday the hearing of two pleas — one on delay by the Centre and the other on “wilful disobedience” of the time-frame laid down by the apex court in its April 20, 2021 order to facilitate a timely appointment of judges.

In the previous hearing on November 7, the top court had expressed concerns about “selective pick and choose” on the appointment of judges suggested by the collegium for appointment to the higher judiciary.
The apex court had also expressed concerns over the pendency of names recommended for transfer from one high court to another.

“The pendency of transfer matters is an issue of great concern as it has been selectively done. The attorney general submits that the issue is being taken up by him with the government,” the bench had said. “We have emphasised to him again that once these people are already appointed as judges, where they perform j dicial duties should not really be a matter of concern to the government and we hope that a situation would not come to pass where this court or the collegium has to take a decision which would not be palatable,” it had said.

Prior to that, the top court had also said in the appointment process, that when the government appoints somebody and doesn’t appoint others, the “very premise of seniority gets disturbed”. “This pick and choose creates a lot of problems,” observed Justice Kaul, who is also a member of the apex court collegium. The top court had said 14 recommendations were pending with the government to which
there has been no response.

It had also said there were five names pending either after a second-time reiteration or otherwise for quite some time and this issue was also required to be addressed. “The attorney general requests for some time to have a fruitful discussion on this behalf with the government,” the bench had noted in its November 7 order. The appointment of judges through the collegium system has often become a major flashpoint between the Supreme Court and the Centre, with the mechanism drawing criticism from different quarters.

Also in top court

CJI-led bench to hear TN, Kerala petitions against ‘delay’ by governors 
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday two separate pleas of the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments, alleging a delay by the respective state governors in giving assent to bills passed by the assemblies. A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra is scheduled to hear the pleas. The Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopted 10 bills in a special sitting on Saturday. The bills, covering different departments, including law, agriculture and higher education, were passed in the wake of Ravi returning those on November 13. The re-adopted bills were later sent to the governor for his assent. On November 10, describing the alleged delay by the Tamil Nadu governor in giving assent to the bills as a “matter of serious concern”, the top court sought the Centre’s response on the state government’s petition accusing the Raj Bhawan of “sitting over” 12 legislations.


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