'Diversity Needed'; CJI Ramana considers reforming judicial appointment processtext_fields
New Delhi: Supreme Court collegium is considering to induct more members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women as judges of the high courts and the apex court, reports The Telegraph qouting sources.
The report published on June 7 said that the Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Friday (June 4) evening broached the subject during extensive discussions with the chief justices and acting chief justices of all the 25 high courts.
Citing sources, the report says CJI Justice Ramana demanded the high court collegiums to recommend a number of candidates from the Dalit, tribal, OBC and minority communities and women for the posts of their judges, following which the appointments could be cleared by the Supreme Court collegium.
According to the report, during the discussions, Justice Ramana repeatedly emphasised the need to give adequate representation to the marginalised sections to ensure "the functioning of the high court truly reflects the vast social diversity of the country".
The reported move comes after Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) put forth a proposal before CJI Ramana to consider elevating Supreme Court lawyers as High Court judges. Reports says that CJI Ramana has agreed to consider the request.
According to a PTI report, CJI has already requested the Chief Justices of the High Courts to consider lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court for elevation to their High Courts
Reacting to the development, In a press release, SCBA President and senior advocate Vikas Singh said the move followed his recent letter to the CJI requesting him to consider lawyers practicing in the top court for appointment as high court judges.
Singh said that the Executive Committee of SCBA has constituted a 'search committee' to facilitate the process of elevation by identifying deserving and meritorious Supreme Court practitioners. Besides Vikas Singh, the search committee consist of the bar body's vice president and senior member Mahalakshmi Pavani and its four members -- Rakesh Dwivedi, Shekhar Naphade, Vijay Hansaria and V Giri.
The High Court Collegium may then consider such names along with the lawyers from the High Court Bar in order to choose the most deserving candidate amongst those available for elevation, he said.
On May 31, Singh had wrote to the CJI that lawyers practicing in the apex court have vast experience and best exposure in dealing with all kinds of issues relating to civil, criminal, Constitutional, commercial law.
The SCBA President had said the advocates practicing in the Supreme Court are hardly considered for appointment as high court judges by the collegiums as they do not regularly practice before the high court.
"While being professionally more meritorious than their colleagues at the high court, lose the opportunity for being considered as such", the letter said.
The collegiums, as per the prevalent practice, headed by chief justices of high courts shortlist and recommend names of lawyers practicing at HC and the judicial officers under service category for appointment as high court judges.
He said the experienced and seasoned lawyers practicing in the apex court will prove to be deserving and meritorious judges of high courts.
Earlier, on March 25 this year, a bench comprising of former CJI SA Bobde, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant had orally remarked that there is no bar in considering advocates practicing in the Supreme Court for judgeship at High Courts while hearing a matter relating to judicial appointments.
The bench had also sought a statement from the Attorney General regarding the time needed to clear 55 pending Collegium recommendations and also demanded the Law Ministry to respond to the recommendations of apex court for judicial appointments within a reasonable time period