Two petitions, one of which accuses the Center of delaying the clearance of the collegium’s recommended names for judge nomination and transfer, are set for hearing by the Supreme Court on Monday.
On Monday, the case will be heard by a bench made up of Justices Sandeep Mehta, Sudhanshu Dhulia, and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
The top court described it as “troublesome” that the Center was picking, selecting, and appointing judges whose names were recommended by the collegium for appointment to the higher judiciary during the hearing of the pleas on November 7.
Concerns regarding the names that were suggested for transfer from one high court to another had also been voiced.
“The fact that transfer matters have been handled selectively raises serious concerns about their pendency. The bench had stated, “The attorney general submits that he is pursuing the matter with the government.
“We have emphasised to him again that once these people are already appointed as judges, where they perform judicial duties should not really be a matter of concern to the government and we hope that a situation would not come to pass where this court or the collegium has to take a decision which would not be palatable,” it had stated.
The government has not responded to the top court’s 14 recommendations, which it said were still pending.
In addition, it had stated that five names were still pending—either following a second repetition or not—and that this matter needed to be taken care of.
The bench had stated in its order from November 7 that “the attorney general requests for some time to have a fruitful discussion on this behalf with the government.”
The collegium system, which is criticized by various quarters, has frequently turned into a major point of contention between the Supreme Court and the Center regarding the appointment of judges.
The petitions, one of which was filed by the Advocates’ Association, Bengaluru, asking for contempt against the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for allegedly failing to follow the deadline set by the court in a 2021 ruling, are being heard by the top court.
In one of the pleas, it is claimed that there has been “wilful disobedience” of the deadline set by the Supreme Court in its April 20, 2021 order to enable the prompt appointment of judges.
The court had stipulated in that order that the Center must name judges in three to four weeks provided the collegium reaffirms its recommendations with a unanimous vote.