After striking down the NJAC (National Judicial Appointments Commission) Act, the Supreme Court said that it cannot allow interference in the appointment of judges, but also added that it would invite suggestions to make the system more transparent.
In the days to come before the next date of hearing there are bound to be suggestions which would pour in. What would be considered or ignored is entirely up to the Supreme Court.
OneIndia caught up with senior advocate Navkesh Batra and discussed the various suggestions that could be made to the Supreme Court in order to make the collegium system more transparent.
Batra in this discussion however added that the appointment of judges is just the beginning of the judicial process and while speaking of transparency courts must ensure that the proceedings are recorded.
Suggestions for a transparent collegium:
There are various suggestions that could be made in order to make the collegium system of appointing judges more transparent. Here are a few as suggested by Navkesh Batra:
- There needs to be a clear cut criteria for appointment of judges to the High Court and Supreme Court.
-The names of those considered for appointment or elevation should be made available on the public domain.
-A one month window must be kept open so that complaints and suggestions could be made about the judges considered for elevation or appointment.
-They must keep a window of one month or so for complaints and suggestions on their website which is available to everyone.
-The markers need to be higher when the person under consideration for elevation is a relative of an ex-judge or is a government pleader or advocate.
-The perception that the judiciary follows hereditary based appointment must be eradicated. Although the numbers are low, the perception remains and this ought to be changed.
Transperency in judiciary:
Batra points out that the appointments are just the start of the judicial process. I have pointed out earlier that the one single game changer would be videography of all court proceedings and the same must be made available to anyone .
It is not only a question of how the collegium works, but justice needs to be tested every time.
To make the judiciary more transparent, half measures cannot be taken. All proceedings except those specified in-camera must be recorded and made available to the public on request. Similarly even the proceedings of the collegium must be made public and recorded.