Collegium controversy!

Is the Collegium system of choosing judges the best way to do it? In recent interviews, U U Lalit, the former chief
justice of said in affirmative. In fact, he has even said that it is intrinsic, meaning it is part of the Constitution’s
basic structure. But does he have a point on either side? Let’s look at what research shows.
Let’s start with the second question first. In the Constitution, the word “collegium” is not mentioned at
all. More importantly, an amendment in the Constitution Assembly that would have added “concurrence of
the chief justice” to the appointment of procedure was turned down. But in 1993, the Supreme Court did
this by saying that “consultation” in Article 124 (2) really means “concurrence,” even though the two words
are defined differently in every dictionary.
Since the collegium system is not even in the Constitution, it is hard to believe that it is part of the basic
structure.
Now let’s talk about what it means to be perfect. In the 2015 Judicial Appointments Commission case,
Justice J. Chlameswar said, “The proceedings of the collegium were completely hidden from the public and
history.” “Collegium system lacks transparency, accountability, and objectivity,” Justice Kurian Joseph agreed. So,
it is clear that some former Supreme Court judges do not think it is perfect.
Some of the reasons are listed below. First of all, we don’t know what criteria are used to choose judges or how
they are chosen. Second, because collegiums work behind closed doors, there is a lot of room for favouritism. It’s
not a surprise that there has been a bigger worry about the quality of the judges that collegiums choose. For one
thing, the best are often overlooked. Akil Kureshi and Ajit Prakesh Shah are two examples of this. In Kureshi’s
case, Justice Rohinton Nariman refused to name anyone else until Kureshi was appointed, but that never
happened.
Worse still, the wrong people are chosen. The most obvious case is that of Justice CS Karnan, who has been in
Jail now. Some of them cause trouble, like Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah, who praised the Prime
Minister in public while they were still judges but then joined the Supreme Court.
Now, we can’t say that a system is perfect if it has these flaws. This was stated later by the former Chief
Justice JS Verma, who wrote the ruling that made the collegium system in vogue in 1993. In an interview, he
said that he had changed his mind and now thought that appointing judges should be done through a National
Judicial Commission, which gives the executive a role. So, if the person who authored the verdict has
changed his mind, can the system be perfect?
Justice Verma said that while judges are better at judging how well a candidate knows the law, but the
Executive is better at judging their character and integrity. So, it must have a purpose and Executives must have a
role.
But he took it one step further. In 1997 when he was Chief Justice, the collegium recommended a name about
whom the then Prime Minister I K Gujral told him that the intelligence agencies had serious reservations on one of the
names. Verma took the name off the list and informed the five of his colleagues in the collegiums for the reason of
withdrawing. Three of them went on to become Chief Justices, while the fourth did not. This showed Verma that the
collegium can choose the wrong kind of person. He also said that this was not the only case there are others too.