Centre, states must have say in judicial appointments: SC

The Supreme Court today ordered that views of state governments and Centre should be one of the criteria for appointment of judges in higher judiciary. The apex court said that Memorandum of Proceedings (MoP) on appointment of judges in higher judiciary should be in consultation with the Centre and Chief Justice of India.

"Transparency is most important in the appointment of judges for higher judiciary and it should be reflected in the MoP. The MoP should also clearly contain eligibility criteria like minimum age etc as guidance for appointment of judges of high courts and the Supreme Court," the court said.

 The court added that minutes of collegium proceedings have to be recorded giving details of dissent, if any, but confidentiality of selection process has to be maintained.

There has been a standoff between the Centre and the Supreme Court over reforms in the collegium system of appointment of judges to higher judiciary.

Refusing to toe the Supreme Court line, the Centre had refused to formulate a draft memorandum of procedure to be followed by the collegium for appointment of judges to Supreme Court and high courts.

The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to formulate memorandum of procedure for the collegium reforms.

The apex court had earlier scrapped the proposed National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, following which the government had made it clear the collegium system of appointments needed a revamp. It had proposed a consultative procedure, intelligence bureau clearance for judges and a full-time secretariat.