SD agrees to hear plea against Centre ‘indefinitely’ sitting on names reiterated by collegium

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine a plea by an NGO seeking direction to the Central government to notify appointment of the candidates in the higher judiciary whose names have been reiterated by the apex court collegium.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that the petition was filed in 2018, but so far it has not been listed. The plea contended that the Central government has been “indefinitely sitting” on the names recommended by the top court collegium for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary.

The bench, also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and J.B. Pardiwala, told Bhushan that the petition will be listed and an order on the administrative side for the same will be passed. “This will come on board,” the bench said.

The plea contended that “stone-walling” of judicial appointments by the executive for oblique and vested interests amounts to interference in the due process of law. It further added that this is also an interference in the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

The plea argued that the process of appointment of judges in the top court and the high courts cannot be frustrated by the government, by sitting on the collegium recommendations, and also not responding when names are reiterated by the collegium.

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