The Supreme Court today expressed anguish over the delay by the Centre in clearing the names recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges in the higher judiciary, saying it "effectively frustrates" the method of appointment.

A bench of Justice S K Kaul and Justice A S Oka said a three-judge Bench of the Apex Court had laid down the timelines for the appointment process to be completed. Those deadlines have to be adhered to, it said.

Justice Kaul observed it appears the government is unhappy with the fact that the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act did not pass the muster, but that cannot be a reason to not to comply with the law of the land.

The Apex Court had in its 2015 verdict struck down the NJAC Act and the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014, leading to the revival of the Collegium system of existing judges appointing judges to constitutional courts.

"How does the system work?" the bench said, adding, "Our anguish we have already expressed."

"It appears to me, I would say, unhappiness of the Government of the fact that NJAC does not pass the muster," Justice Kaul observed.

With PTI inputs