Justice JS Khehar J Chelameswar J. MB Lokur J. Kurian Joseph J. AK Goel J.
 JS Khehar J.  J Chelameswar J. MB Lokur J.  Kurian Joseph J. AK Goel J.

After declaring the Constitutional amendment to replace the ‘collegium system’ as unconstitutional by a majority of 4:1, the same Constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India will now sit on November 3 to debate the steps which can be taken to improve the ‘collegium system’ which has again been restored after the October 16 judgment. The bench will consider the suggestions which may be made by the petitioners, government and other stakeholders.

On October 16, the five judge Constitution bench by a majority of 4:1, with four separate concurring opinions and a dissenting opinion of Justice Chelamswar, Bench had declared:

  • Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act 2014 is unconstitutional and void,
  • National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 is unconstitutional and void
  • the system of appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court, and Chief Justices and Judges to the High Courts; and transfer of Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts from one High Court, to another, as existing prior to the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 (called the “collegium system”) is operative.

After such a declaration, the bench ordered:

to consider introduction of appropriate measures, if any, for an improved working of the “collegium system”, list on 3.11.2015.

After the order, Justice Khehar had said:

Help us improve and better the system. You see the mind is a wonderful instrument. The variance of opinions when different minds and interests meet or collide is wonderful.

After the order, Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad (who was the Minister of Law and Justice when the amendment was introduced) had said:

The Supreme Court has said that from November 3 it will hear the issue of improving the collegium system. It shows that there was something wrong in the collegium system.
As per reports, during the November 3 hearing, government would suggest changes that would ensure the independence of the judiciary while at the same time taking care of its view that ‘judges appointing judges’ is not the best practice.
Images from here.