Union government taking U-turn from its earlier stand to make appointment-process in higher judiciary public

Posted Saturday March 12, 2016 by Subhash Chandra Agrawal

Supreme Court of India

It refers to Union government surprisingly taking a U-turn on its earlier view of making appointment-process in higher judiciary public. Unfortunately reverse-stand of Union government comes just months after when luminaries from bar and bench apart from Union government all agreed to make appointment-process in judiciary to be covered by RTI Act. It is significant that such matters were in open discussion including even by the then Chief Justice of India on non-appointment of Gopal Subramaniam as Supreme Court judge.

Transparency in the process becomes even more important in view of some prominent senior lawyers said to having written against transfer of a particular judge of Delhi High Court during mass transfer of many judges from different High Courts allegedly as a sort of maximum punishment for alleged charges of corruption, inefficiency, misconduct and nepotism.

A division-bench of the Apex Court more than five years ago on 26.11.2010 had directed its registry to put matter of constituting a larger bench before Chief Justice of India to decide stay-order dated 24.11.2009 in SLP(C) numbers 32855 & 32856 of 2009 on various CIC-verdicts on several aspects also including making appointment-process in higher judiciary public. RTI response following a CIC-verdict revealed that successive Chief Justices of India deferred constituting a larger bench with comments like ‘Put it later’, ‘Put it after vacations’. It is high time that the long-pending matter may be soon decided especially in view of regularly changing stand of Union government on the important issue.

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