Govt moves to fill 44 judges’ appointments based on SC collegium’s choices
Nearly two months after the Supreme Court collegium – a body of five senior most judges of the country – reiterated its choices for 44 positions of high court judges, the government is getting ready to initiate the process for making these appointments, sources in the law ministry have said.A majority of the names – 29 in all – are to be appointed judges to the Allahabad high court, which has 76 vacancies.
The climb down by the government comes at a time when the Memorandum of Procedure, the guidelines for appointing judges, is still pending due to differences on its contents between the executive and the collegium. The friction between the two sides repeatedly hit the headlines during previous Chief Justice of India TS Thakur’s time.
The government had told the CJI’s court on November 11 last year that it had sent back the names for reconsideration. Days later a bench headed by Justice Thakur admonished the government in court for trying to create “a logjam” and said the collegium had reiterated the names.
The government asked the collegium to reconsider its decision but on April 10, the current collegium under CJI JS Khehar reiterated its recommendations for the 44 names. With the new MOP yet to be finalised, the government is bound by the collegium’s recommendations.In May, the government cleared a string of appointments in different HCs. Yet, 419 of the 1,079 positions across 24 high courts were vacant on June 1.