New Delhi, Oct 19: With the Supreme Court striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), the Chief Justice of India H L Dattu has set the collegium in motion seeking to fill up the vacancies in the higher judiciary.
A meeting of the collegium has been called for where it would be decided on filling up the vacancies in the various High Courts in the country.
A rough estimate would show that there are nearly 330 posts of High Court judges vacant across the country.
The Collegium comprising the Chief Justice, Justices T S Thakur and A R Dave will take several decisions.
On the agenda:
The first of the decisions to be taken by the collegium would be on the confirmation of 30 additional judges in various high courts.
The issue has been pending since May 2015 and the collegium would take a final call on the confirmation during its meeting.
Further the issue of vacancies would be discussed and the collegium would consider the recommendations before appointing the high court judges.
The collegium system has been set in motion for the first time since the NJAC issue cropped up. Several High Courts have written to the CJI complaining about the vacancies in the past few months.
Making the collegium more transparent:
While the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice J S Kehar upheld the system of collegium by striking down the NJAC, he had recommended that the system needs to be more transparent.
The government of India, which has not yet taken any decision on the future course of action, is expected to make suggestions before the Supreme Court in Nov 2015.
The suggestions would include ways of making the collegium system more transparent in nature.
Currently there is no transparency in the system and the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary is conducted between closed doors by the collegium.
Government sources say that they are still consulting on the next course of action.
Consultations will be held with legal experts and the Prime Minister on whether to make another push for the NJAC.
Several ministers in the government have reacted sharply to the verdict of the Supreme Court.
The government, however, makes it clear that they are working out a way and do not want this issue to become a clash between the legislature and the judiciary.