Agencies, New Delhi
The judiciary and the NDA government are heading for an open confrontation on the issue of collegium system for selection of higher judiciary. Chief Justice of India R M Lodha today strongly defended the collegium system of appointment of High Court and Supreme Court Judges.
Justice Lodha expressed his anguish saying ‘great damage is being done to the judiciary and if collegium is imperfect then we are imperfect.’
While dismissing a PIL challenging collegium system, CJI Lodha said, ‘’for God’s sake don’t defame the judiciary.
‘’This is a systematic campaign to malign judiciary.
‘’ It will shake the confidence of the people in the judiciary,’’ Justice Lodha said and added that the ‘’collegium system has not failed.’’
The top court dismissed the PIL filed by Ram Shankar against the collegium system.
Chairman of Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju, has been supporting the campaign against the collegium system.
Justice Katju, a former Supreme Court judge, declined to comment on the observations of CJI Lodha.
Narendra Modi government is having a running battle with the judiciary and is to bring a Judicial Appointment Commission Bill under which a selection panel, headed by CJI, shall select the Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
Union Law Minister and two eminent persons shall be the members of the selection panel which will also comprise two senior most Supreme Court judges apart from CJI.
The main grievance of the opponents of the collegium system is that it lacked transparency in the selection of judges.
Under the system, the government is bound by the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium.
Narendra Modi government today tabled Judicial Appointment Commission Bill in Lok Sabha to replace the collegium system.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad withdrew the bill introduced by previous UPA government. The nine-judge constitution bench had implemented the collegium system in 1993.