The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Attorney General to provide details on the compliance of decisions of collegium in regards to the appointment and transfer of Supreme court and High Court judges. The Apex court also asked the Attorney General to seek instructions the non-compliance of the collegium’s decision on the same. The Chief justice of India asked the Attorney General to provide the court with answers within four weeks, as to why the appointment of judges has been stuck. The Supreme Court also asked about the authority under which these appointments have been stuck. The Supreme court said that the appointment of appointments and transfers have not been carried out despite given clearance by the collegium 8 months ago. The collegium had earlier cleared 75 names of High court judges but their approval has still been pending. Mukul Rohatgi, the Attorney General, told the Supreme Court that he would take the matter to the highest level and come back to the court with a response.
Earlier the Centre had continued its opposition of the majority of the clauses in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which would enable it to have a more prominent say in the appointments but couldn’t find any support from the Supreme court collegium. The government had firmly stayed with its opinion that the power of rejecting any name recommended by the collegium on grounds of national security should stay with the government.
In May, the collegium had rejected this bid for veto powers by the government, citing that this would be an interference of the executive in the matters of judiciary. The judiciary is currently facing a massive shortage of judges. The Ministery of Law and Justice has the names of 227 judges pending for appointments and transfers to various high Courts in the country. As of today, 24 High Courts in the country have a vacancy of 477 judges.