Published on: August 19, 2021


COLLEGIUM SYSTEM What is in news : The Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana, has recommended to the government nine names for appointment as judges in the court


  • System of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
  • Headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
  • A HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other senior most judges of that court
  • Constitutional Provisions:
    • Article 124(2) – President consultation for appointment of judges of Supreme court & role of CJI & other judges
    • Article 217- President consultation for appointment of judges of High court & role of CJI of SC , HC , governor & other judges
  • Role of Government:
    • The government’s role is limited to getting an inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) if a lawyer is to be elevated as a judge in a High Court or the Supreme Court.
    • It can also raise objections and seek clarifications regarding the collegium’s choices, but if the collegium reiterates the same names, the government is bound, under Constitution Bench judgments, to appoint them as judges.
  • Process for the appointment of Chief Justice of India:
    • It is the President of India, who appoints the CJI and the other judges in the Supreme Court.
    • It has been a practice that the exiting CJI would recommend his successor.
    • It is strictly a rule that the CJI would only be chosen on a seniority basis. This has happened after the controversy of 1970.
  • Process of appointment of the High Court
    • The Chief Justice of the high court is appointed by the President in consultation with the Governor.
    • The collegium decides on the judge’s appointment and the proposal is sent to the chief minister, who would then advice the Governor and the proposal for appointment would be sent to the Law Minister in the Union Government.