System Of Collegium Knowing The Person Personally To Elevate As Judge Is Extremely Faulty: SCBA President
The President of the Supreme Court Bar Association(SCBA), Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, today said that the collegium system needs improvement and definite corrective action. He was speaking at the Constitution Day celebrations of the Supreme Court.
While addressing the gathering in the Supreme Court, the Senior Advocate said that the following three things are very important for the survival of the Constitution:
- Introducing law to bar criminals from entering into politics;
- Permanently debarring a person who is accused or found guilty of anti-defection law from the house; and
- Improving Collegium System.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also attended the Constitution Day celebrations. Since 2015, Constitution Day is being celebrated on 26th November to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly in 1949.
"The collegium system also needs improvement. I have always advocated that the collegium system was the right system, provided it functions properly", he said.
"The basis of envisaging the collegium system was that the judgment of the Supreme Court felt that judges of the Courts know the lawyers and accordingly, they are in the best position to select the best of them. The premise, on first blush, looks very attractive. But on a deeper scrutiny, it is seen that it is impossible for any collegium to know the lakhs and lakhs of lawyers practicing in a High Court", the SCBA President said.
"There is no method by which the collegium knows where a particular lawyer is eligible or should be elevated. There are lawyers in law firms, there are lawyers in trial Courts, who deserve to be elevated.", he added.
He said that the "system of the collegium knowing the person personally to elevate is an extremely faulty system" and in the process, the judiciary is suffering.
The Senior Advocate said that the system of appointment of judges must remain relevant. "In the process, our judiciary is suffering and judiciary being upholder of the Constitution needs to be given top most primacy because even a law passed by unanimity by the entire Parliament can be set at nought by two judges sitting in the courtroom. That's the power that judges wield in our system", he said.
To ensure that this power remains in the right hands, we have to ensure that the system remains relevant", said the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association while highlighting the need of finding a solution.