Supreme Court Sets timeline for Appointment of Judges

What is the News?

The Supreme Court of India sets a timeline for the Centre to clear names recommended by the Collegium.

What was the case?
  • The issue of judicial vacancies came up when the Supreme court was hearing a petition seeking transfer of a case from the Orissa High Court due to the lawyers’ strike there.
  • The Supreme Court said that the High Courts are in a crisis-like situation. There are almost 40% vacancies in the High Courts. Many of the larger High Courts are working under 50% of their sanctioned strength.
  • Furthermore, the SC collegium has cleared several names for the appointment to various high courts. But the law ministry is yet to clear the names. Importantly, the Memorandum of Procedure(MoP) does not prescribe any time limit to make the decision for the Central Government.
What is the timeline set by the Supreme Court?
  • Firstly, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) should submit its report/ inputs within 4 to 6 weeks. Duration will start from the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium to the Central Government.
  • Secondly, the Central Government shall forward the recommendations to the Supreme Court within 8 to 12 weeks. The duration would start from the receipt of views from the State Government and the report/ input from the IB.
  • Further, after the Supreme Court collegium clears the names for appointments, the Central Government can proceed to make the appointment immediately.
  • However, if the Government has any reservations on the suitability or in the public interest, It can send back the recommendations to the Supreme Court Collegium.
  • But if the Supreme Court Collegium, after reconsideration still reiterates the recommendation(s) unanimously, such appointment should be processed. Appointments should be made within 3 to 4 weeks.

Source: Indian Express

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