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Collegium System of Judiciary: 26 April 2024

SC declines the petition to end the Collegium System.

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SC declines the petition to end the Collegium System. 

More about news:

  • The Supreme Court Registry cited that the Collegium system has already been upheld by the Supreme Court, while the NJAC was struck down as unconstitutional in 2015.
  • According to the SC, the petition merely “replicated” matters that had already been decided.
  • The petition called  Collegium a synonym for nepotism and favoritism.
  • Articles 124(2) and 217 of the Indian Constitution deal with the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts.

Collegium System:

  • Collegium is a system under which appointments and transfers of judges are decided by a forum of the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. 
  • It came into existence by a series of SC judgments, called the three-judge cases.
    • First Judges Case (1981): It declared that the primacy of the CJI’s recommendation on judicial appointments. 
  • Second Judges Case (1993): It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior-most judges in the SC. 
  • Third Judges Case (1998): SC expanded the Collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior-most colleagues.   
  • SC collegium is headed by the CJI (Chief Justice of India) and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
  • A High Court collegium is led by the incumbent Chief Justice and two other senior judges of that court.

National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC):

  • It was proposed  as a substitute for the Collegium system with the intention of increasing accountability and openness in judicial appointments.
  • Established by the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the NJAC Act was unconstitutional and invalidated it.