Collegium System: Supreme Court
5 New Judges to be appointed Soon in the Supreme Court according to the Government of India.
An overview of the news
The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on December 13, 2022 recommended the names of five judges for appointment as apex court judges and three for elevation as Chief Justices (CJ) of High Courts (HC).
The five judges recommended to the government for appointment as Supreme Court judges are Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal; Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol; Manipur High Court Chief Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar; Patna High Court judge Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah; and Allahabad High Court judge Justice Manoj Misra.
Once the five take oath as judges of the Supreme Court, its working strength will go up to 32.
The sanctioned strength of the top court is 34, including the Chief Justice of India. Its present working strength is 27.
Collegium System in India
The collegium system in India refers to the process of appointment and transfer of judges in the higher judiciary, which includes the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
Under this system, a collegium of the Chief Justice of India and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court recommend appointments and transfers to the President of India, who has the power to make the appointments.
The system was established by a 1993 judgement of the Supreme Court and has been the subject of controversy and criticism.
Some have criticized it for lack of transparency and accountability, while others have defended it as necessary to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
National Judicial Appointments Commission
The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was a proposed body in India that was intended to replace the existing collegium system for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary.
The NJAC Act was passed by the Indian Parliament in 2014, but it was later struck down by the Supreme Court of India in 2015 on the grounds that it violated the basic structure of the Indian Constitution.
The court held that the NJAC Act sought to undermine the independence of the judiciary and the basic feature of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.
As a result, the collegium system was restored and continues to be used for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary in India.
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