What is Collegium :
- It is a forum consisting of the CJI and the four senior-most judges of the SC
- Appointments and promotion and transfer of the judges of the Supreme Court are decided by the forum
What does constitution say : Article 124 and 214 of the Constitution empowered the judiciary to make appointments to the higher judiciary to secure the rule of law.
Why collegium : Only those persons should be considered fit for appointment as judges of the superior judiciary who combine the attributes essential for making an able, independent and fearless judge” and had “legal expertise, ability to handle cases, proper personal conduct and ethical behaviour, firmness and fearlessness are obvious essential attributes. These considerations will be made by the collegium
What is the issue : Large Vacancies in Indian judiciary and huge pending cases
Criticism of Collegium
- Opaqueness and a lack of transparency.
- Scope for nepotism.
- Embroilment in public controversies.
- Overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
- A permanent, independent body to institutionalize the process with adequate safeguards to preserve the judiciary’s independence guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity. It should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
- Instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President to appoint in order of preference and other valid criteria