The Collegium, which recommends appointment of judges to High Courts and the Supreme Court, takes decisions after thorough deliberations and after weighing all considerations, former Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit said on Saturday. .The collegium system is the best one available and we must ensure that this system survives, thrives and gives us the best possible result, he underscored.The appointment process by Collegium is not a "whimsical exercise" to ensure a nepotistic cycle continues in judicial selections as alleged by critics, the former CJI said."It is not like it is a whimsical exercise undertaken by somebody down the line only with a view to see that judges have the opportunity to select their successor. It is a fool proof exercise. Imagine whether the executive or will the apparatus (Collegium) be in a better situation to select a judge," the retired judge assured.The process of appointment followed by Collegium involves rigorous filtering of the names and there are lots of checks and balances, he maintained.."If there is a appointment in Karnataka High Court then a Supreme Court judge who has been in Karnataka is consulted or his opinion is taken into consideration. So at the level of Supreme Court collegium when we sit to clear names we take into consideration all of this. There are often 5 consultee judges and there cannot be unanimity on name so we have to go by some parameters at the level of Supreme Court. After this rigorous filtering names are recommended. Then matter goes to Central government. Their inputs are taken into consideration but they may have something to elaborate on and their objections come back to the collegium," said the former CJI. He was speaking on the topic "Judicial appointments and reforms" at an event organised by Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR)..Justice Lalit said that there may be instances regarding the personal profile of a judge having a bearing on the appointment, but even then, the collegium takes the final call. "In one of the cases where a particular name was to be considered, a judge of the Supreme Court downloaded 1,100 judgments of the man just to see if the judgments are of a particular quality. That is the kind of consideration which is bestowed.. so what is seen is number of years of practice.. judgments authored and how much income he earns. There may be infirmity on personal front of complaint by bar council etc. but that part is taken care of by IB clearance and State government profile and when it reaches Supreme Court it is about whether it is to be accepted or not to be accepted.".But when there are infirmities, recommendations by the High Court Collegium are dropped by the Supreme Court Collegium after discussion with consultee judges in the Supreme Court who hails from the concerned State. "There can be infirmities and that is why recommendations by High Court collegium was dropped after consulting consultee judges. High Court collegium can propose but consultee judges who come from there also has inputs to give," he said. He also explained how the system of appointing judges through the collegium is a fool proof measure."If an appointment is to be made in Karnataka High Court, then a Supreme Court judge who has been in Karnataka is consulted or his opinion is taken into consideration......So at the level of Supreme Court collegium when we sit to clear names we take into consideration all of this. There are often 5 consultee judges and there cannot be unanimity on name so we have to go by some parameters at the level of Supreme Court. After this rigorous filtering names are recommended. Then the matter goes to the Central government. Their inputs are taken into consideration but they may have something to elaborate on and their objections come back to the collegium," the judge stated.Justice Lalit, therefore, said that there is no reason for interfering with the present Collegium system of appointing judges."I don't think there is any room for interference in the present day collegium.".The retired CJI also recounted how in a particular case, the collegium initially did not accept a name but the government requested it to reconsider the samne."Thereafter collegium accepted and that person was sworn in as a judge of the court. There are cases which are reverse as well. So please see the seriousness bestowed to the entire matter," said the former CJI.