The Supreme Court of India seems to be on the path to ensuring greater transparency in judicial appointments. After the Collegium headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra reportedly resolved to frame norms for appointment and transfer of judges last week, it now looks like the decisions of the body responsible for appointing judges will be made public, for the first time ever.
A new tab on the Supreme Court website links to ‘Collegium Resolutions’.
A resolution passed by the five seniormost judges of the Court states:
“THAT the decisions henceforth taken by the Collegium indicating the reasons shall be put on the website of the Supreme Court, when the recommendation(s) is/are sent to the Government of India, with regard to the cases relating to initial elevation to the High Court Bench, confirmation as permanent Judge(s) of the High Court, elevation to the post of Chief Justice of High Court, transfer of High Court Chief Justices / Judges and elevation to the Supreme Court, because on each occasion the material which is considered by the Collegium is different.
The Resolution is passed to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system.”
Currently, the Collegium’s recommendations with regard to appointments to the High Court of Kerala and Madras are active on the website. An account of the deliberations with respect to each person recommended for elevation by the High Court is published on the site. Reference is made to the opinions of Supreme Court judges conversant with the affairs of the high court, as well as to the Information Bureau’s evaluation of the candidate.