Key comments of former CJI UU Lalit on Collegium system

Former CJI UU Lalit Defends Collegium System: Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court Uday Umesh Lalit opined that there is no better system for appointment of judges than the existing collegium system. In a program on ‘Judicial Appointments and Reforms’ organized by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court explained the various levels of scrutiny and consultation that are undertaken in the process of appointment of judges. He expressed the opinion that the collegium system is ideal in the appointment of judges in this order. He said that the process of recommending names of judges in constitutional courts is tough.

“I believe we have no better system than the Coliseum system. In terms of quality, there is nothing better than the Coliseum system, so efforts should be made to ensure that the Coliseum system survives,” he said. Justice Lalit, who will retire in November 2022, said the judiciary is in a better position to determine the merit of competent candidates as they have been there for years to look after their work. He said that if this matter reaches the Supreme Court collegium, the name will be approved. The Union Law Minister and the Vice President made comments on the appointment of judges. The comments of the recently retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gained importance in the context of the discussions on the collegium system.

On the issue of the collegium system, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar recently said that by abolishing the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJC), the Supreme Court has seriously undermined the parliamentary sovereignty and disrespected the verdict. NJAC was enacted by an Act of Parliament. There have also been suggestions to abolish the collegium system in the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts. However, the Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional.

Union Law Minister Kiran Rijiju has also repeatedly criticized the Collegium system. Rijiju said that he has seen the warning issued by the Supreme Court. “The owners of this country are the people here. We are the servants. Everyone is the servant. They have come to serve. If anyone owns it, we will know. If we have any guide, it is the constitution. According to the constitution, the country is run according to the thoughts of the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, senior advocates Aditya Sondhi, Dushyant Dave, Professor Faizan Mustafa and Professor Mohan Gopal spoke in the first session of the seminar on ‘Judicial Appointments and Reforms’. Advocate Prashant Bhushan delivered the opening speech on this occasion. Advocate Cheryl D’Souza acted as moderator for this meeting.


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