The Centre should not delay decisions on appointments of judges to the higher judiciary after the collegium recommends their names, Supreme Court Justice Kurian Joseph said at an event on Friday. He said the government must make such decisions in a time-bound manner, PTI reported.
Kurian Joseph was one of the four judges who held an unprecedented press conference on January 12 to express concerns about the top court’s functioning under Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
“Just making a passing observation – as far as appointment to high courts are concerned, once the High Court has sent some request, or the High Court collegium creates an appointment of a judge, to High Court, there should not be a delay of three months,” Joseph said at the Conference on National Initiative to Reduce Pendency and Delay in Judicial System in New Delhi.
“As far as the Supreme Court is concerned, since it is an appointment from among the judges serving in the country for quite a long time, there must not be a delay of more than two weeks.”
In April, Joseph had expressed concern over the Centre’s delay in deciding on Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph’s name for elevation to the top court even three months after the collegium recommended him. The Centre refused to clear his name later that month. The collegium recently reiterated KM Joseph’s name for the post.
On Friday, Kurian Joseph also said that the central government should consider raising the retirement age of judges at all levels of the judiciary to 70 years, so that the “most productive years of a judge can be utilised till 70”, The Indian Express reported.
Kurian Joseph’s colleague, Justice Madan B Lokur, called upon the judiciary to investigate whether the vetting process for judges’ appointments was water-tight. “This may be one of the reasons for this ping pong that’s going on... recommendations going back and forth,” Lokur said at the event, according to The Economic Times. “Do we have that kind of scrutiny?”