The draft Memorandum of Procedure which would laydown the broad framework to facilitate appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges by the collegium, has reached the Prime Minister’s Office for approval before being handed over to the CJI. While the draft MoP has been finalised by an inter- ministerial group headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, it is likely to undergo changes before being sent to the Chief Justice of India for approval, reports PTI.
The NDA government wants both the Centre and state governments to have say in recommending candidates for appointment to the higher judiciary.
While delivering its verdict on ways to make the collegium system more transparent, the apex court had asked the government to rework the MoP in consultation with the states and high courts.
The draft MoP, which guides the collegium in the appointment of judges, suggests that the Attorney General at the Centre and Advocates General in the states should have a say in recommending candidates for appointment and elevation of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts.
If the Supreme Court accepts the draft, then effectively the government can also suggest candidates as the Attorney General and Advocates General are top law officers appointed by the centre and states.
The draft also states that any dissent note to a recommendation of the collegium to appoint or elevate a judge should be mandatorily shared with the Executive. This point has been incorporated based on the judgement the Supreme Court delivered last year on ways to make the collegium system more transparent. The draft also says that up to three judges in the Supreme Court should be from the Bar.