COLLEGIUM SYSTEM (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     27th September 2023        
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Context: The Supreme Court, concerned about the recent delay in processing recommendations for the appointment and transfer of High Court judges, has announced that it will closely monitor the issue every 10-12 days until it is resolved, as approximately 70 Collegium recommendations remain pending with the government.

National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)

  • About: NJAC is a group in charge of selecting and moving judges in the higher courts of India.
  • Established By: 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, of 2014.
  • Objective: The NJAC was meant to take the place of the collegium system used to choose judges.
  • Composition: 6 persons Chief Justice of India (Chairperson), Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court, The Union Minister of Law and Justice, Two eminent persons: nominated by a committee & Leader of Opposition of LS.

o In October 2015, the Supreme Court's Constitution Bench, with a majority of 4:1, ruled that the NJAC was against the Constitution and supported the continued use of the collegium system.

Collegium System

  • In this system, decisions about choosing judges or promoting lawyers to the Supreme Court and moving judges between High Courts and the Supreme Court are made by a group consisting of the Chief Justice of India and the four most experienced judges of the SC.
  • The way judges are chosen and moved around is based on decisions made by the SC, not on a law from Parliament or a part of the Constitution.
  • The term 'Collegium' isn't mentioned in the Indian Constitution. It has become a practice based on legal judgments.
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