New Delhi: In a recent letter, the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has promised to give due consideration to suitable women and other candidates from SC/ST/OBC background in Judiciary. The Minister of Law's reply came back in response to Advocate P. Wilson, Member of Parliament from Tamil Nadu constituency's query in this regard.
Wilson, who was also the former Additional Solicitor General of India wrote a letter to Law Minister on September 2020, raising the issue of 'lack of representation of women, SC/ST/OBC judges.
The letter states that a diverse judiciary would increase in improving the public faith and confidence. "For the past few years, we have been witnessing declining representation from all sections of the society in the apex court. Thus, courts are not indicative of the wonderfully diverse and pluralistic society of India. Many social groups are poorly represented in the Indian Judicial system."
Wilson also called out the over-representation of 'certain sections', the question of the objectivity of the current system and its inability to recruit from different minority social class. He says that the absence of judges from all sections of society threatens to erode the public confidence in the judiciary.
As a response to this concern of P Wilson, Law Minister said the government is committed to bringing social diversity in the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and has also been requesting the Chief Justices of High Courts that while sending proposals for appointments, consideration will be given to candidates from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes background.
Under the Articles 124, 217 and 224, the appointment process of judges to Supreme Court and High Courts is carrying out. There is no reservation provision for the appointment. Hence, no caste/class/category wise data has been maintained by the Central Government.
However, the General Secretary of All India OBC Federation, G.Karunanidhy expressed OBC group's dissatisfaction over 'no reservation' in the appointment of judges to Courts. While speaking with Madhyamam he said "All these promises from Law Minister are hopeless. Since long time, the under representation of OBCs and other minority category are taking place in our judicial system. Reservation must be implemented in the appointment procedures of judges in high courts and apex court. Otherwise we cannot sort it out the way in which backward communities are excluding by upper caste people. Consistently, AIOBC Federation is raising this issue for long time. All we need is a new proper and corruptionless reservation policy in judge recruitment process," he added.
As per Karia Munda Report 2000, out of 18 High Courts, 16 High Courts follow to some extent the rules of reservation for SC/STs in recruitment of the staff and that too according to their own norms which differ from court to court. Despite suggestion of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Supreme Court has far not attempted to frame recruitment rules for reservation for SC/ST/OBCs.