While throwing light upon the controversy regarding appointment of higher judiciary, critically examine the recent suggestion made by the government to appoint Search-Cum-Evaluation committee.

Published: March 15, 2017

The appointment of higher judiciary by collegium system has been opaque and also time consuming process because there is no formal framework or set procedure followed in the selection.
In this context Government of India (GoI) enacted National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) which was strike down by Supreme court citing it could hamper the independency of judiciary, recently GoI has suggested another mechanisms to appoint Judges i.e: Search cum Evaluation Committee (SEC).
The SEC will have 3 years tenure, its membership will be decided by the Chief Justice of India in consultation with the Government of India. A SEC would assist High Court and Supreme Court collegium in expanding the zone of consideration undertaking due diligence and necessary clearance. The SEC will only recommend candidates in ratio of 5:1 to the HC and SC collegium to select and forward to the Central Government for required consultations.
The SEC will not restrict the authority and autonomy of the SC collegium in the selection of judges, it will only institutionalize the search and selection process, making it objective and transparent.

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