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Don't hold hearing on appointment of judges, Centre tells SC

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Dont hold hearing on appointment of judges, Centre tells SC
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New Delhi: The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court not to hold hearing on PILs seeking the appointments of judges to high courts and the apex court.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice N.V. Ramana that its order on the National Judicial Appointments Commission was clear that it was for the government to decide on the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) -- a guideline for selection of judges for appointment to high courts and the Supreme Court -- in consultation with the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

The Attorney General added that the government had sent the MoP to the CJI about six months ago but it has not received any response yet. He said once it was finalised, the issue of the appointment of judges would also be resolved. AG said that there could not be parallel proceedings.

The top court's constitution bench by its December 16, 2015, order had said, "..the Government of India may finalize the existing Memorandum of Procedure by supplementing it in consultation with the Chief Justice of India" and the "Chief Justice of India will take a decision (on MoP) based on the unanimous view of the collegium comprising the four senior most puisne Judges of the Supreme Court."

The court said that it had to lay down law for seeking the recusal of judges from hearing a case as it said that people can't come and say that "you recuse". It is time to lay down the rules on recusal.

The bench said this as lawyer Mathews Nedumpara urged the Chief Justice Khehar to recuse himself and not hear the matter involving judges appointment as he (CJI) was heading the apex court collegium and could appoint judges on the administrative side.

Nedumpara told the bench that CJI should not hear on judicial side the matter involving the appointment of judges to higher judiciary as he was exercising powers in his capacity as the head of the collegium that decides on the appointment of judges to higher judiciary.

As lawyer Mathews Nedumpara urged the court not to entertain the PILs, the court retorted asking him what he would do for publicity.

The court adjourned the hearing by one month even though the AG had sought adjournment for two months.

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