After Union Law Minister Kiren referred to the Supreme Court collegium as “opaque,” former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on Sunday said that the system is “absolutely proper and balanced” for choosing justices.
“These–“opaque, unaccountable”–are his personal views… It’s a perfectly, correct and balanced way of doing things. It is a system where every viewpoint is considered,” Lalit was quoted by NDTV, days after his retirement earlier this week.
According to Justice Lalit, the collegium only approves judicial nominations following thorough scrutiny at several levels, including that of the government. In order to reduce the enormous backlog of cases in the nation’s courts, he also discussed the urgency of these appointments.
“The entire process [of appointments] must have a dialogue between government and collegium. The sooner, the better because today we are 27 at the sanctioned strength of 34. The delay in appointment can put off a person, and then he might say they don’t want to be a part of it,” he said.
The remarks came two days after the Supreme Court stated it was “not acceptable” for the Centre to continue holding up the approval of names that had been suggested for appointment as judges in the higher court, including those that had been reaffirmed by the collegium.
Speaking to the news outlet India Today last week, Rijiju said, “I am not critical about the judiciary or the judges, but I state a fact which is the reflection of the thinking of the common people of India. The collegium system is opaque and isn’t accountable. Judges and lawyers too believe this.”