Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud addressed concerns about the Collegium's transparency, emphasizing that it is incorrect to claim that it lacks factual data for evaluating judicial candidates.
CJI Chandrachud acknowledged that a major criticism of the Collegium system is the perceived absence of factual data for assessing judges being considered for higher judicial appointments. He noted that criticism is viewed optimistically as it can drive improvements in the system. While discussions within the Collegium cannot be made public, the goal is to enhance transparency by establishing objective criteria for Supreme Court and High Court judge selections.
He announced that the Supreme Court, in collaboration with the Centre of Research and Planning, has developed a platform to assess the top 50 judges in the country, potential candidates for Supreme Court appointments. The assessment includes an evaluation of their reportable judgments and the quality of those judgments. CJI Chandrachud described this initiative as a work in progress but noted ongoing improvements.
CJI Chandrachud was delivering the keynote address at an event commemorating the birth centenary year of the veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani, where he chose not to discuss the fundamental structure doctrine. He praised Jethmalani's legacy and contributions to the field of law.
The CJI also shared his goal of institutionalizing courts to enhance transparency and accountability, moving away from an ad-hoc operational model. Institutionalizing courts, he explained, prevents ideas from being forgotten when leadership changes and ultimately improves transparency and accountability.
Author: Anushka Taraniya
News Writer, MIT ADT University