Law minister seeks views of CMs to improve collegium system

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New Delhi, Dec 24: Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has written to chief ministers of all states seeking their views on ways to improve the collegium system, days after the Supreme Court left it to the government to draft the memorandum of procedure in consultation with states and high courts.

Secretary (Justice) in the Law Ministry would be writing similar letters to chief justices of the 24 high courts in the coming days.

D V Sadananda Gowda

"The letters seeking their view were signed yesterday. Based on the Supreme Court judgment, they have been requested to furnish their views at the earliest," a senior Law Ministry functionary said here.

The consultation with chief ministers and top judges was initiated to prepare a memorandum of procedure for appointment of members to the higher judiciary after the Supreme Court struck down a new law on appointment of judges to the apex court and high courts.

While deciding on ways to improve the collegium system, the Supreme Court had recently left it to the ministry to draft the MoP in consultation with CMs and chief justices of the 24 high courts.

The four issues the government wants to concentrate while drafting the MoP are eligibility criteria, transparency in the appointment process, a permanent secretariat for the collegium and a process to evaluate and deal with complaints against candidates.

Gowda had recently said that since the new law on appointment of judges has been struck down by the apex court, the draft MoP "will be our prayer to the apex court" to include certain issues to improve the system of judges' appointment.

As of now, there are two MOPs -- one dealing with appointment of Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court and the other dealing with appointment of Chief Justices and other judges of high courts. The MoP is a roadmap of procedure on how a judge will be appointed.


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