New Delhi, Nov. 5 (PTI): The Supreme court said Thursday that there was no bar on the collegium to go ahead with its work of appointing judges for the higher judiciary, which has many vacancies.
Giving the collegium the green signal, the apex court also decided to allow people nine more days to file suggestions to improve the functioning of the collegium system, in existence for over two decades, to make its decision more transparent.
”We want to indicate that we don't want to delay. We don't want to say anything to the collegium. We have not said anything to the collegium and we will not be saying anything. Whatever they want, they can do. If they do not want to proceed, let them not. It is their business. Let us not delay the proceedings,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar said.
Justice Khehar, who is fourth in seniority in the apex court, has kept himself away from the five-member collegium as he was heading the bench that on October 16 had quashed as unconstitutional the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act aimed at the replacing the collegium system of judges appointing judges to the higher judiciary.
The apex court asked the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to issue a public notice inviting representations and suggestions from all quarters of the public and webhost on the website of the Law & Justice Ministry by 5pm, November 13.
It also accepted the view of Bar Council of India that the apex lawyers' body be allowed to hold a meeting with all state bar associations and advocates' bodies from across the nation for compilation of various suggestions.
”Suggestions received by 17:00 hours on November 13 shall be entertained. No further suggestions will be entertained,” the bench, which also had Justices J. Chelameswar, M.B. Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A.K. Goel, said while posting the matter for hearing on November 18 and 19.