Search Cum-Evaluation Committee Can Receive Recommendations Of CMs And Senior Judges Outside Collegium- Centre Tells Lok Sabha
In its communication dated January 6, 2023, the Center has suggested that a Search-cum-Evaluation Committee be entrusted to prepare a panel of eligible candidates from which the respective Collegiums can make recommendations for appointment of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court.
In an answer to questions raised in the Lok Sabha, Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said that for High Courts, names recommended by the Chief Minister can also be received by the Search cum-Evaluation Committee along with the names taken from senior Judges outside the Collegium and eligible candidates taken from the database (Judicial Officers and Advocates) as maintained by the proposed Secretariat.
The Parliament was told, "For appointment of Judges in the High Courts, the Committee should consist of a representative nominated by Government of India and a representative of State Government(s) under the jurisdiction of High Court as nominated by the Chief Minister(s). The existing MoP stipulates that if the Chief Minister desires to recommend the name of any person, he/she should forward the same for consideration". He added the provision for recommendation by the Chief Minister has not been put into practice till now.
"The Collegium at appropriate level may address the above requirements of drawing up panel of eligible candidates from aforementioned sources and draw up their proceedings by rendering requisite reasons and thereafter send the proposal to the Government with relevant documents. The said Committees will be entrusted to prepare a panel of eligible candidates from which the respective Collegiums will make recommendation", said the Minister's reply to questions by eight Parliamentarians.
As per the answer, the Centre has told the Chief Justice of India that for appointment of Judges in the High Courts, the Committee should consist of a representative nominated by Government of India and a representative of State Government(s) under the jurisdiction of High Court as nominated by the Chief Minister(s).
In answer to another question, "the timeline to be followed as per updated memorandum of procedure for Supreme Court collegium recommendations on transfer of High Court judges?", the Minister has replied that no timeline has been prescribed in the MoP for transfer of judges from one High Court to another.