The Centre has initiated the process of detailed scrutiny of proposals received for the appointment of judges from High Court, as per the note dated August 9 sent by the Department of Justice to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha. The note added, “in the case of advocates, their reported judgements and in case of judicial officers, their case disposal time and number of adjournments are being evaluated by an in house team having legal background,” according to the Indian Express report. A government source was quoted as saying that the initiative has been taken by the government towards greater appraisal and scrutiny for better candidates in light of the Supreme Court’s own observations in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) matter and Justice C S Karnan case.
The final decision is taken by the Supreme Court collegium on the appointments. However, the inputs provided by the government with that including the result of the evaluation will assist in the process.
Under current mechanism, the collegium system has been followed for appointment of judges of the higher judiciary. As per the report, the instances of alleged corruption and irregularities have brought the system under the scanner. In order to change this, the BJP-led NDA government in December 2014 replaced the collegium system of appointments with the NJAC, reported the Indian Express. However,
However, striking it down in October next year, the apex court noted that the political-executive cannot be given any hand in the judges’ appointment process. Later, in December 2015, the Supreme Court allowed the government to “finalize the existing Memorandum of Procedure by supplementing it in consultation with the Chief Justice of India”.