New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS): Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on Friday said that he has to follow the position laid down by law in relation to the appointment of judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts by the Collegium system.
“You have the freedom to pursue your heart's desire. I am a servant of the law and the Constitution. I have to follow the position laid down by law,” CJI Chandrachud told an advocate in open court who suggested that the Supreme Court must think of reforming the Collegium system and process of ‘senior designation’ of advocates.
Presently, the committee comprising the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, commonly called the Collegium, sends the recommendation for the appointment of a judge to the apex court as per the 1993 Second Judges Case.
The Collegium basically decides who will be appointed as a judge to the Supreme Court or a High Court. As per convention, the government is obliged to accept the Collegium's recommendation if the decision has been reiterated. Commonly called "judges selecting judges", in this system, judges are appointed and transferred only by judges.
In 2015, a five-judge Constitution Bench struck down the Centre’s idea of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) to replace the Collegium system.
Article 124(2) of the Constitution provides that "Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose."
The Supreme Court in October this year dismissed a plea filed by a Mumbai-based lawyer challenging designation of senior advocates under the Advocates Act, 1961