#GS-02 Indian Judiciary
- Collegium is a mechanism developed by the judiciary through judgements delivered by the Supreme Court to recommend Judges to Supreme Court and the various High Courts.
- Presently the Collegium consists of the Chief Justice of India and four senior most Judges of the Supreme Court.
- The recommendation of Collegium is binding on the President.
- The person to be recommended has to get the approval of at least 4 out of the 5 members of Collegium.
- If even 2 of the judges are against the opinion, the CJI will not recommend them to the President.
Evolution of Collegium:
- Article 124 of constitution says that “Every Judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose.”
First Judges Case, 1982:
- In this judgement the Supreme Court held that the “primacy” of the CJI’s (Chief Justice of India) recommendation on judicial appointments and transfers can be refused for “cogent reasons.”
Second Judges Case (1993):
- Supreme Court held that under article 124 “consultation” really meant “concurrence”.
- Supreme court also stipulated that CJI’s opinion alone is not enough and a collegium consisting of CJI and two senior most judges of the Supreme Court must give the recommendation.
Third Judges Case (1998):
- Supreme Court expanded the collegium to CJI along with four senior most Judges of Supreme Court.
National Judicial Appointments Commission
- National Judicial Appointments Commission was created by the Ninety-Ninth Constitutional Amendment Act of 2014.
Composition of NJAC
- The Chief Justice of India
- 2 senior-most judges of the Supreme Court
- The Law Minister of India
- 2 eminent members that are chosen by the Selection Committee
Fourth Judges Case (2015):
- Also known as National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC) case.
- Supreme Court declared NJAC as unconstitutional and independence of Judiciary as a basic Structure of the Constitution.