The Supreme Court on Monday said it would finalise a new method for appointing judges by the end of February. The apex court’s claim came while it heard a petition filed by Haryana advocate SV Sharma seeking a more transparent procedure for judicial appointments, The Indian Express reported.
A bench of the court led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said the Memorandum of Procedure for appointments was a “work in progress”. “I can say many of your grievances will be taken care of by the new MoP [Memorandum of Procedure],” Khehar told Sharma. However, the court dismissed the public interest litigation filed by the lawyer.
The procedure for the appointment of judges has been the subject of many disagreements between the Centre and the judiciary. The two sides have sent several drafts of the Memorandum of Procedure to each other, with the last draft being sent by the Centre to former chief justice of India TS Thakur in August, 2016.
Differences regarding the Procedure have affected judicial appointments, with the Centre sending back names recommended for high court appointments by the collegium of judges. However, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday cleared the names of five judges for their appointment to the Supreme Court. The collegium system of appointing judges is one by which the judiciary appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and high courts of India.
The apex court had asked the Centre to prepare the memorandum with the chief justice’s help after it ruled against setting up the National Judicial Appointments Commission in October 2015. The apex court had said at the time that it was open to bringing in more transparency in the system of appointing judges.