SC junks plea for independent body to select judges

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking an independent panel – independent of its collegium and the government – to select judges for appointment to the higher judiciary.

Dismissing the plea, a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said what is being sought would amount to amending the Constitution, and the Supreme Court could not do this.

Putting in place a system for the appointment of judges was the job of the parliament and not that of the judiciary, the bench told advocate Mathew Nedumpara who had appeared for the petitioner, an organisation of lawyers.

The petition, moved by the National Lawyers Campaign for Judicial Transparencyand Reforms, had sought a fair, open and non-discriminatory selection process for the appointment of judges from a wider pool of candidates and not from an elite group.

As Nedumpara urged the court that the procedure for the appointment of judges that should be such that the advocates in the zone of consideration should be from wider pool, the bench asked him to wait till Memorandum of Procedure for the appointment of judges was finalised and if he found flaws in it, then he can challenge it.

Nedumpara also claimed that judges’ relatives are being inducted into the higher judiciary.

At one stage, as the pitch of his argument became high, the bench asked him if he is addressing the court or the gallery (at the back of the court room, where the media persons were seated).

–IANS

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