Cannot close our eyes and accept the recommendations: the Minister of Justice on the appointment of judges

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Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told parliament that the Center conducts proper background checks before considering recommendations from the Supreme Court Collegium for the appointment of judges.

Kiren Rijiju, Union Law Minister. (File photo)

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Lok Sabha that the Center conducts proper background checks before considering recommendations from the Supreme Court Collegium for the appointment of judges.

Responding to questions from an MP about the Center sitting on the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium, Rijju said: “We cannot close our eyes and accept if there is a recommendation. We have erased all records in waiting. If there is a delay or rejection of an appointment, there is a valid reason for it.”

He said that every name recommended for review had to go through the review mechanism, which the Supreme Court College lacked.

“The Center is committed to expediting the judicial appointment process and has the full support of the Supreme Court. However, he cannot blindly endorse the nominations of candidates he feels he does not deserve,” Rijju said.

Also Read: If Lawyers Charge Rs 10-15 Lakh Per Hearing, How Can an Ordinary Man Pay: Law Minister Kiren Rijiju

According to official statistics, 79 recommendations for the appointment of high court judges were pending with the central government even as 381 of the total 1,108 sanctioned judicial posts in 25 high courts remained vacant.

Moreover, the Center has yet to send the names of the 120 judges it has received from various high courts to the Supreme Court Collegium for consideration.

After the assumption of office of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, not only vacancies in the High Court were filled but 163 Judges were also appointed in various High Courts.

The Justice Minister also spoke about how India’s judiciary during the pandemic had effectively used technology and conducted hearings in a hybrid manner.

On the issue of the wait, Rijju said the government is taking all necessary measures and monitoring the situation.

“We have done more in the last eight years than what has been done in the last 50 to 60 years,” Rijiju said.

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