'Don't Force Us To Pass Orders,' Supreme Court Warns Centre: 10 Facts

The Supreme Court has accused the government of sitting on judges' appointments

The Supreme Court today accused the government of "sitting over" judges' appointments and said scathingly: "Don't force us to pass orders to remove this logjam."

Here are 10 developments in the story:

  1. A three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India, Justice TS Thakur, told the government that since February, 75 names had been recommended for the high court and none had been approved.

  2. "Why is there mistrust? Judges who have been transferred by the collegium have not been transferred. We don't want all this," the judges said.

  3. The appointment and transfer of judges is decided by a collegium or a panel of the seniormost judges of the Supreme Court, including the chief justice. The names recommended by the collegium are forwarded to the government for approval and finally signed off by the President.

  4. Justice Thakur told the government: "You can't leave a situation where courts are allowed to be shut down. Tell us where the files are. If you have any problems with the names, send it back. Collegium can consider. You can't sit over files and not process the recommendations."

  5. The judges commented that even transfers and appointments of chief justices had been delayed.

  6. "It gives a wrong impression and we feel to think whether judicial work should be withdrawn from those judges under transfer," said the Chief Justice.

  7. The searing comments reflect the deep rift over whether the government should have a greater say in the appointment of judges.

  8. In April, Justice Thakur broke down at a meeting in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while talking about the pressure on judges and the need to appoint more.

  9. The appointment of more than 400 judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts across the country has been caught in the tussle between the judiciary and the government over the procedure.

  10. Last year, parliament cleared a National Judicial Appointments Commission to replace the collegium but it was struck down by the top court.The commission would have included the law minister and two eminent persons selected by a separate panel including the chief justice, prime minister and the leader of opposition.