Disappointed that Collegium Resolutions of December were not published, Madan Lokur J. breaks his silence

Disappointed that Collegium Resolutions of December were not published, Madan Lokur J. breaks his  silence

Breaking his silence on the recent controversy over the non-elevation of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Rajendra Menon to the Supreme Court, Justice (Retd.) Madan Lokur said that he is disappointed that the Collegium resolutions of December 12, 2018 were not uploaded on Supreme Court website.

Once we take certain decisions, they have to be uploaded. I’m disappointed that they were not“, he said.

He further disclosed that he was not privy to the “additional material” which led to change in Collegium decision of December.

We don’t know what kind of additional material was before collegium on Jan 10. So, if the material is incorrect or defamatory, do you expect them to put it out despite it being defamatory or incorrect?”, remarked.

Justice Lokur was in conversation with Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on the theme ‘State of the Indian Judiciary‘,  at an event organized by The Leaflet at The Constitution Club, New Delhi today.

Further, referring to the present Collegium system, Justice Lokur said the system may need “tweaking”, but it hasn’t failed.

I don’t think the system has failed, We’re dealing with human beings, we’re not dealing with machines. Certain things in the system may need tweaking but it’s not a failure.”, he said.

He further clarified that if there is any suggestion given by Chief Justice of India on appointment or transfer, it is discussed by the members of the Collegium, and not merely agreed to.

We discuss it. There’s a discussion. But it’s not like just because CJI has said it, we’ll all agree. There’s a discussion“, he said.

On being asked whether there is nepotism in the Collegium when it comes to elevating judges, Justice Lokur replied,

Not in my experience.”

He also remarked that what happens in the Collegium is done in confidence, hence he was “not going to betray anyone’s trust” by disclosing what is discussed.

The Collegium Resolution recommending the elevation of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna to the Supreme Court sparked a controversy surrounding the functioning of the Collegium.

The elevation of Justices Maheshwari and Khanna came after the Collegioum had in its December 12 meeting resolved to elevate Justices Menon and Nandrajog to Supreme Court. Justice Madan Lokur was part of the Collegium when that decision was made. However, the said resolution remained unpublished.

Lokur J., however, retired on December 30. Subsequently, the said decision of December was reconsidered by the Collegium in a meeting held on January 10 when it decided to elevate Justices Maheshwari and Khanna.

With as many as three senior judges of the Delhi High Court– Justices Gita Mittal, Pradeep Nandrajog and Ravindra Bhat – being superseded, the elevation of Justice Khanna and Maheshwari, raised many an eyebrow.

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