Number of Judges to Go up as SC, Centre Finalise MoP for Selection

The SC recently rejected a PIL against writer Kancha Illaiah, upholding the fundamental right to free speech.

The appointments to the higher judiciary can now finally be streamlined as the Centre and the Supreme Court have finalised the memorandum of procedure (MoP) for the same.

The Times of India reported that the collegium has agreed to the ‘national security' clause which the Centre was not willing to concede. The Collegium agreed to the same on the condition that specific reasons are recorded by the Centre for invoking the said clause, the report said citing sources.

The report also added that a secretariat will be formed in the SC and HCs to maintain a database of the judges and assist the collegiums in selection of judges.

Also Read: Supreme Court Gets Five More Judges, Working Strength Moves to 28

The MoP which will be sent to the Centre for approval and adoption will help fill up vacancies in the HCs.

The Ministry of Law and Justice in a release, dated 1 July 2016, had said that the 24 high courts were functioning with just 609 judges out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,079 judges.

Also Read: 34 of 77 Names of HC Judges Cleared for Appointment: Govt to SC

In October 2015, Justice Khehar had struck down the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) and in December 2015 had directed the Centre to frame a new MoP in consultation with the CJI.

The draft MoP could not be finalised over the year as neither side decided to budge over their position on the national security clause.