10 Dec 2022

Collegium System: Supreme Court Will Not Leave The Privilege Of Collegium, Petition To Bring It Under RTI Rejected

New Delhi: The prerogative of the collegium in the Supreme Court of India will continue for the time being. The Supreme Court has upheld the High Court's decision by dismissing the petition seeking details and resolutions, agenda of the meetings of the collegium.
While giving the verdict, the Supreme Court said that the discussions held in the collegium for the appointment of judges is not the final decision, so it will not be brought under the ambit of RTI. 

The court said that the disclosure under RTI cannot be made on the basis of media reports or the statements of former judges. The Supreme Court said that the final decision or recommendation is made public and that is fine.
RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's decision. The Delhi High Court had on December 12, 2018 dismissed a petition seeking the agenda, details and resolution of the meeting of the Supreme Court Collegium.

System should not get derailed 

On December 2 also, the Supreme Court had made important remarks regarding the issue of collegium and the appointment of judges. Describing itself as the most transparent institution, it had said that there should be no attempt to derail the system which is working.

Why is there controversy

In fact, former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had made some comments about the collegium in his autobiography 'Justice for the Judge'. Apart from this, the Central Government has also adopted a lax attitude on the recommendations of the collegium regarding the appointment of judges.
From Vice President Dhankhar to President Droupadi Murmu, they have shown their strong stand on the collegium system. The Supreme Court has not yet said anything about them, but has expressed its displeasure over the statements of the ministers and has asked the central government to curb them.

What is collegium

According to this system, the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court are appointed by a committee. The committee consists of the Chief Justice and five senior judges. This system has been accused of being opaque and promoting nepotism.

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