Union minister slams judiciary, calls collegium 'blot on democracy'
Union minister of state for HRD Upendra Kushwaha has lashed out at the judiciary over the the collegium system of appointment of judges and dubbed it as "a blot on democracy". He said that the collegium system lacks transparency and ignores merit.
"According to the attitude of the judiciary, in the present time, judges don't appoint other judges, they actually appoint their successors. Why do they do that? Why was this made a system to choose successors," news agency ANI reported Kushwaha as saying on Tuesday at an event in Patna.
Hinting that the collegium system was biased, Kushwaha asked why are the doors of the Supreme Court shut to aspiring judges from marginalized communities.
"People oppose reservation, say it ignores merit but I think collegium ignores merit. A tea-seller can become the Prime Minister, fisherman's child can become scientist and later President, but can a maid's child become judge? Collegium's a blot on our democracy," he said.
Kushwaha was referring to former president APJ Abdul Kalam in his 'fisherman's child can become scientist' comment. Kalam was from Tamil Nadu's Rameshwaram who went on to become an emminent scientist at the DRDO and later served as President of India.
The collegium system was created by two judgements of the Supreme Court in 1990s in which a body of senior apex court judges headed by the Chief Justice of India selected persons and recommended their names for appointment as judges.