Law Ministry To Send 120 Names For Appointments As HC Judges To SC Collegium

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New Delhi:As the government seeks to fill gaps in higher judiciary and also meet a target it has set for itself in terms of judicial appointments, the law ministry is set to forward nearly 120 names shortlisted for appointments as high court (HC) judges to the Supreme Court (SC) collegium by the end of the week.

The SC collegium is a body of the country’s top judges, headed by the Chief Justice of India, which appoints judges; the ministry’s move would make this the biggest batch of recommendations forwarded to the SC collegium in a single week.

This effectively ends a six-month-long go-slow with regards to appointments that saw only 34 judges being appointed till the end of June. For the 407 HC vacancies that currently exist, the law ministry says it will eventually process all 203 files it has received so far.

The names are sent by the HC collegiums — similar bodies of top judges in the 24 HCs — to the ministry, which then completes background checks of the candidates picked from the bar and the state judiciary with the help of confidential reports by the Intelligence Bureau (IB). After that, the ministry forwards all details to the SC collegium for the final selection.

“We have already sent 69 names this week,” the official said on condition of anonymity.Another government official added that the names already sent to the SC collegium pertain to 13 high courts in the country while the department of justice has cleared another batch of around 50 names, which are expected to be sent to the CJI by the end of the week.

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