Addl judges: Govt not to process new recommendations until SC nod to MoP

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New Delhi, April 1: The government has decided against processing fresh recommendations made by 10 high courts for appointment of 110 additional judges till the Supreme Court ratifies the revised draft of the memorandum of procedure (MoP) that will guide future appointments to the higher judiciary.

Official sources said chief justices of 10 high courts have recommended the names of 110 candidates — from the state judicial services and the Bar — for appointment as additional judges.

“After the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was struck down by the Supreme Court, the government had informed the Chief Justice of India that only the appointments which are in the pipeline will be processed while a new memorandum of procedure to bring transparency in the collegiums system is being cleared.

“Accordingly, 115 names which are in various stages of being considered for appointment as additional judges are being cleared,” a senior government functionary said.

He said while the government will continue to clear elevations and postings of sitting judges, it would not clear new names as additional judges till the memorandum is ratified by the SC collegium. The revised draft of the memorandum was handed over to the CJI a few days ago.

In the past few days, chief justices of the Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, Orissa, Calcutta, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala high courts have recommended a total of 110 candidates to be appointed as additional judges.

Out of 89 recommendations for elevation of additional judges of high courts as permanent judges, 66 files have been cleared by the government.

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Some of the issues highlighted by the draft MoP are transparency in the appointment process, eligibility criteria, a permanent secretariat for the collegium and a process to evaluate and deal with complaints against candidates.

The government and the judiciary are learnt to be on the same page on the issue of a permanent secretariat for the collegium.

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