Indians were unhappy with the collegium system of appointing judges and the spirit of the Constitution says that the government should do the job, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday, The Indian Express reported.

At an event organised by the Panchjanya, a weekly magazine of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Rijiju said that the government was unhappy with the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to strike down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act passed by Parliament months after Narendra Modi took over as the prime minister in 2014.

The law proposed to make judicial appointments through a body comprising of the chief justice, two senior Supreme Court judges, the law minister and two other eminent persons nominated by the chief justice, the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition.

The National Judicial Appointments Commission was to replace the collegium system, under which five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, including the chief justice, decide on the appointments and transfers of judges to the top court and the High Courts.

On Monday, Rijiju said that the process of appointing judges through the collegium system was “very opaque”.

“...Nowhere in the world except India is there a practice that judges appoint their brothers as judges,” he said. He also claimed to have observed that judges being “preoccupied with deciding who will be the next judge”.

He added, “Their primary work is to give justice, which suffers due to this practice.”

He claimed that many serving judges have informally told him that the National Judicial Appointments Commission would be the best option for legal appointments and that the government should take steps to bring back the system.

“I am not giving any definite word here because it is [a] very sensitive [matter] and the government will definitely consider any step in the due course of time that is in the interest of the judiciary and the nation,” he added.

This is the second time in a month that the law minister has questioned the collegium system. At a conference on legal matters held in Udaipur last month, he had said there was a need to rethink the collegium system, PTI had reported.

Rijiju had said appointments in the higher judiciary were pending not “due to the law minister but due to the system”.