Need a rethink on collegium system: Kiren Rijiju

Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday suggested there is a need to rethink the collegium system to expedite the process of appointment in higher judiciary as there are concerns about the existing process.

He said appointments in higher judiciary are “pending”, but “not due to the law minister but due to the system”.

“There is a need to think about the collegium system so that appointments in higher judiciary can be accelerated,” he said, speaking as the chief guest at the inauguration of two-day Union of India Counsel (West Zone) Conference on ‘Emerging Legal Issues-2022’ at Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Later when reporters asked him about his remarks, he said, “The system which is in place is causing trouble and everyone knows it. Further discussion will be held about what and how it has to be done. I put my views in front of everyone where judges, law officers and invitees were there.”

Supreme Court judge Justice Ajay Rastogi, Rajasthan High Court acting Chief Justice MM Srivastava, Gujarat HC Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta also expressed their views in the inaugural session of the workshop.

Rijiju said, “If such issues are taken up in such conferences then people present come to know what’s there in the mind of the law minister and what the government is thinking. I have expressed my views and I have also listened to their views.” He said he raised the issue in Udaipur as several “appointments in Rajasthan High Court have to be done and they are pending”.

“The appointments are pending not due to the law minister but due to the system and that’s why I have put forth (my views) in front of you,” he said.

Supreme Court judges in the recent past have raised the issue of “delay” in the government clearing the names suggested by the collegium for appointments in higher judiciary.

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