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Collegium system of appointment has to be reconsidered: Law Minister Kiren Rijiju

The Union Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju, has urged that the collegium system should be reconsidered in order to speed up the appointment process in the higher judiciary. He claimed that although nominations to the higher judicial branches were “waiting,” “the Law Minister is not to blame” for them. Speaking as the special guest at the start of the two-day Union of India Counsel (West Zone) Conference on “Emerging Legal Issues-2022” in Udaipur, Rajasthan, he remarked, “There is a need to look into the collegium system so that appointments in the higher judiciary can be accelerated.”

On the other hand, Judges of the Supreme Court frequently criticised the government for taking too long to approve candidates recommended by the collegium for appointments to the higher judiciary. Three of the Supreme Court‘s 34 open seats and 380 of the high courts’ 1,079 open slots were unfilled as of August 1.

This was true even though the Center appointed 92 HC judges annually on average between 2014 and 2021, an increase from the 76 judges it appointed between 2006 and 2014. In addition, the Union government has added 198 new judgeships in the high courts since 2014.

There are currently more than six million cases outstanding in the Supreme Court and high courts around the nation, which has increased the workload for the judiciary as a result of the vacancies. The Supreme Court’s rate of case disposition has decreased from 67% in 2018 to 25% in 2019. (till July 31). High court disposition rates have decreased, falling from 39% in 2018 to just 9% in 2019. (till July 31).

Rijiju declared, “If these topics are discussed at such conferences, the attendees will learn what the law minister and the government are thinking. I’ve voiced my opinions and listened to others as well. ” He claimed that the reason he brought up the subject in Udaipur was that multiple “Rajasthan High Court appointments must be made and they are pending.” “The nominations are delayed not because of the law minister but because of the system,” he said. “That is why I have presented (my opinions) in front of you.”

Ahir Mitra
Ahir Mitra

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