The central government on Monday fast-tracked the appointment procedure for 10 judges after Chief Justice TS Thakur, on Friday, accused it of trying to "decimate the judiciary" with the nine-month delay, The Times of India reported. The Centre's clearance includes five appointments for the Delhi High Court and five for the Gauhati High Court. It is also considering the recommendations for 35 judges in Allahabad High Court, eight of which have been pending since January.
According to The Indian Express, the government's clearance of five names for the Delhi High Court have reached the office of the president for issuance of warrant despite the Centre's objections to two names. The issuance of warrant is the last stage in the appointment process, which follows a clearance by the collegium and executive.
The chief justice-led Supreme Court bench referred to the delay as a result of "inaction, inefficiency or unwillingness” to appoint judges, The Indian Express reported. The government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, cited the apex court collegium's delay in finalising the memorandum of procedure for the appointments as a reason for the delay. This was dismissed by the bench.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is believed to have started hastening the appointment process by directing the Law Ministry to clear the appointments and to avoid a summons order for the secretaries in the Prime Minister's Office and Department of Justice.