The nation, citizens, and therefore the judiciary must guard against the dilution of its independence. to make sure democracy within the judiciary, a completely unique mechanism of the Collegium System was established in 1993. The purpose of the collegium system is to make sure that the opinion of the judge of India (CJI) isn't his individual opinion, but the one formed collectively by a body of judges of the very best integrity within the judiciary. However, the efficiency of the collegium system has been challenged from time to time in terms of its independence and transparency of judicial appointments and other decisions. For maintaining the religion of citizens within the judiciary, the collegium must shield itself from further erosion of its independence by scrupulously following the law.
Collegium System is that the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
The SC collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior-most judges of the court. An HC collegium is led by its judge and 4 senior-most judges of that court
Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution provides that the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President after consultation with such variety of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts within the States because the President may deem necessary for the aim . Article 217, the Judge of a supreme court shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the CJI and therefore the State Governor, and, within the case of appointment of a Judge aside from the judge, the judge of the supreme court. The government’s role is restricted to getting an inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) if a lawyer is to be elevated as a judge in any court. It also can raise objections and seek clarifications regarding the collegium’s choices, but if the collegium reiterates equivalent names, the govt is bound, under Constitution Bench judgments, to appoint them as judges.
The lack of a written manual for functioning, the absence of selection criteria, the arbitrary reversal of selections already taken, the selective publication of records of meetings prove the opaqueness.No one knows how judges are selected, and therefore the appointments made raise the concerns of propriety, self-selection, and nepotism. The system often overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates. The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) could guarantee the independence of the system from inappropriate politicization, strengthen the standard of appointments and rebuild public confidence within the system.
The decision was struck down by the SC in 2015 on the bottom that it posed a threat to the independence of the judiciary. The collegium members often face the difficulty of mutual consent regarding the appointment of judges. The shadow of mistrust between the members of the collegium exposes the fault lines within the judiciary. While data regarding caste isn't available, women are fairly underrepresented within the higher judiciary. the method of judicial appointment is delayed thanks to delaying in recommendations by the collegium for the upper judiciary.
It is time to consider a permanent, independent body to institutionalize the method with adequate safeguards to preserve the judiciary’s independence guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity. It should ensure independence, reflect the diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity. rather than selecting the number of judges required against a particular number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President to appoint so as of preference and other valid criteria. The Supreme Court may amend the NJAC Act to possess safeguards that might make it constitutionally valid and reorganize the NJAC to make sure that the judiciary retains majority control in its decisions. A transparent process adds accountability that's much needed to resolve the deadlock. It is of the utmost importance that the Judiciary, which is that the main bulwark of civil liberties, should be completely independent and separated from the direct and indirect influence of the chief .selecting the judges of the very best integrity for appointment to the very best courts of the land is that the least which will be done to make sure independence of the judiciary of India.