High Court Judge Appointment: CJI’s office has not confirmed Bar Association’s claim to make lawyers judges
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) claimed that the country’s Chief Justice (CJI) NV Raman has asked the chief justices of all the high courts to consider the request of the apex court lawyers to be made judges of the high courts. But, the office of the Chief Justice has not officially said anything about it.
Following the SCBA’s claim, an expert in the process of appointment of judges (MOP) in high courts said that the prerogative of selecting lawyers as judges for high court benches rests with the High Court Collegium headed by the Chief Justice. Earlier, SCBA President and Senior Advocate Vikas Singh issued a press release stating that the Chief Justice has agreed to the SCBA’s request and urged the Chief Justices of the High Courts to appoint advocates practicing in the apex court as judges. .
However, experts in the process of appointment of judges to the High Court said that the office of the Chief Justice has no role in the initial process of selecting lawyers for the High Court judges. As per the current practice, the collegium headed by the Chief Justice of High Courts makes a final list of names and recommends the names of advocates and judicial officers practicing there.
Singh had said that the SCBA executive committee has constituted a ‘search committee’ which besides him consists of the organization’s vice-president and senior member Mahalakshmi Pavani and four members – Rakesh Dwivedi, Shekhar Naphade, Vijay Hansaria and V Giri. This committee will assist in the process of identification of talented and qualified lawyers to practice in the High Court for appointment to the post of Judges. “For appointment of judges, the High Court Collegium may consider these names along with those from the Bar of the High Court,” he said.
Singh had written to the Chief Justice on May 31 that the lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court have vast experience. They also have good knowledge of dealing with all issues related to civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial laws. “But the High Court seldom considers these lawyers to be judges as they do not regularly practice in the High Court,” the letter said. Professionally, he does not get a chance to become a judge even though he is more talented than his colleagues in the High Court.
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