The Supreme Court on Friday lamented that delay by the Central government in clearing Collegium recommendations was leading to candidates withdrawing their consent for judgeship or not giving consent altogether [The Advocates' Association Bengaluru vs Barun Mitra and anr]..A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and AS Oka noted that the government was sending back names of even those candidates already reiterated by the Collegium after the government's first round of objection. "Twenty-two names have been sent back by the Central government and some reiterated (names) have been sent back and some of those sent back are even reiterated for the third time and some are ones which Centre feels we should consider it though not cleared by us," the bench remarked.Such delay by the government in clearing names has led to meritorious lawyers not giving their consent to become judges."Names cleared by us are put on the website and then it is not cleared. It has some impact," said Justice Oka."One I know withdrew because there was delay with centre and other withdrawn because it was pending with collegium," Justice Kaul said.My concern is are we creating an environment that meritorious people are hesitant to give consent, he added.The bench underscored that the government cannot sit on Collegium recommendations without taking any decision for the fear that the Collegium would reiterate the recommendation even if the file is sent back by the government."Sending back reiterated names by Centre is a matter of concern. Government might have apprehensions but names cannot be kept on hold without sending us some comments in the fear that we will reiterate. Once we reiterate I don't see any problem in clearing the appointment," the Court said.The bench also highlighted that judges decide cases irrespective of political considerations and cited the example of Justice VR Krishna Iyer in this regard. "We praise Justice Krishna Iyer as a great contributor and see where did he come from. When we become judges we do our duty irrespective of political considerations at all," Justice Kaul remarked.Justice Krishna Iyer was a minister in Kerala and affiliated to the left regime in the State when he was a lawyer. .The Court was hearing a petition related to the delay in approving names for elevation proposed by the Collegium, in contravention of the Second Judges case. The Court had during an earlier hearing urged the Central government to process recommendations that have been pending for the last one-and-a-half years.The bench had also taken objection to the government citing opinions of certain judges against the Collegium system, as an excuse to delay clearance to names proposed. It was said that said that the law regarding judicial appointments to the High Courts and the Supreme Court has been settled by the 2015 Constitution bench decision of the top court, which upheld the Collegium system in the National Judicial Appointments Commission case (NJAC case)..During the hearing on Friday, Attorney General R Venkataramani said that 44 collegium recommendations will be processed by the government in the coming days."Centre submits that out of 104, 44 will be processed and sent within 3 days," the bench asked."By tomorrow.. and by weekend all the names," the AG replied. "Okay by the weekend," the Court said."We will adhere to the timeline," the AG said..Specifically on Rajasthan High Court, the bench noted that there are 10 Collegium recommendations pending with the Central government. "What is the information ? Can we record anything? Should we say you are looking into it," the bench asked."(Will look into it) without further delay. Will take instructions," the AG responded..Pertinently, on the five recommendations to the Supreme Court, the AG sought deferment saying he is examining the matter. "Can the Supreme Court appointment hearing be deferred. I have some inputs but I need to have some time," the AG submitted."There should not be any delay. AG requests deferment as he is looking into the matter," the Court said..The Court eventually kept the matter for further hearing on February 3. "Please come with issuance of warrants and not only a smile," the bench told the AG before the hearing drew to a close.