The West Bengal government and the Calcutta High Court on Friday opposed the Central Selection Mechanism for the subordinate judiciary proposed by the Supreme Court, Bar & Bench reported. The apex court had favoured the introduction of a country-wide common entrance test for the selection of judges for lower judiciary.

The West Bengal government and the High Court on Friday made their submissions in the matter to Chief Justice JS Khehar, and Justice AK Goel and Justice AM Khanwilkar. They argued that the selection of these judges can only be done by the high courts according to Article 233 of the Constitution.

“What your Lordships are envisaging now is vesting that power of high court with a selection committee,” advocate Rakesh Dwivedi appearing for the state government said, according to the report in Bar & Bench. “That cannot be done. That is undertaking a pure legislative exercise and is not permissible.”

Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta appearing for the Calcutta High Court said that the proposal was a “ mockery of Article 233”. “This is the question of Independence of each and every High Court in this country,” Gupta said.

The matter will be heard in the Supreme Court on August 21.

The Central Selection Mechanism

In a bid to curb nepotism and favouritism in judiciary, the apex court on August 4 had proposed the all-India test to appoint judges to lower courts. “No country can progress if there is no functional and effective judiciary,” the bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and AM Khanwilkar had said.

However, the high courts of Delhi, West Bengal, Bombay, Patna, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab,, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have opposed the idea.