The Supreme Court on Friday refused to accept the Centre decision to reject 43 names put forward for high court appointments by the collegium of judges. A bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and Justice AR Dave sent the names recommended by the collegium back to the government for reconsideration, PTI reported. The matter was posted for its next hearing after the court’s winter vacation.
On November 11, the government had approved 34 of the 77 names recommended by the collegium, which is headed by Thakur. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had then told the Supreme Court that no files on the matter were left with the central government. The collegium has not yet responded to the draft Memorandum of Procedure on the appointments of judges submitted to it by the Centre, Rohatgi had told the court.
The court had asked the Centre to prepare the memorandum with the chief justice’s help after it had ruled against setting up the National Judicial Appointments Commission in October 2015. The collegium system of appointing judges is one by which the judiciary appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and high courts of India. It came into force in 1993, but was ousted by the Parliament in April 2015. The government wanted to bring in the NJAC instead, which had ministers on the panel as well. The apex court had said at the time that it was open to bringing in more transparency in the system of appointing judges.