Friday, 6 November 2015

One Way to Fix the Collegium is to Televise its Proceedings

The hearing has begun before the Supreme Court on the question about reforming the Collegium system of appointment of judges. It is almost unanimously agreed that the collegium system lacks transparency, accountability and objectivity because of the secrecy, opaqueness and nepotism it involves, and is in need of glasnost and perestroika – as Justice Kurian Joseph said in his concurring judgment invalidating the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
In paragraph 106 of his dissenting judgment in the NJAC case, Justice Chelameshwar said:
“As Bentham has observed, ‘In the darkness of secrecy sinister interest, and evil in every shape, have full swing..’
Transparency is an aspect of rationality. The need for transparency is more in the case of the appointment process. Proceedings of the collegium were absolutely opaque and inaccessible both to public and history, barring occasional leaks. Ruma Pal , J. is on record – “Consensus within the collegium is sometimes resolved through a trade-off, resulting in dubious appointments with disastrous consequences for the litigants and the credibility of the judicial system. Besides, institutional independence has also been compromised by growing sycophancy and ‘lobbying’ within the system.”
Justice Kurian Joseph, agreeing with the above observations, said:
“I agree with Chelameswar, J. that the present collegium system lacks transparency, accountability and objectivity. The trust deficit has affected the credibility of the collegium system, as sometimes observed by the civic society. Quite often, very serious allegations and many a time not unfounded too, have been raised that its approach has been highly subjective. Deserving persons have been ignored wholly for subjective reasons, social and other national realities were overlooked, certain appointments were purposely delayed so as either to benefit vested choices or to deny such benefits to the less patronised, selection of patronised or favoured persons were made in blatant violation of the guidelines resulting in unmerited, if not, bad appointments.
“The dictatorial attitude of the collegium seriously affecting the self-respect and dignity, if not, independence of judges, the court, particularly the Supreme Court, often being styled as the court of the collegium, the looking forward syndrome affecting impartial assessment, etc., have been some of the other allegations in the air for quite some time. These allegations certainly call for a deep introspection as to whether the institutional trusteeship has kept upto the expectations of the framers of the Constitution.”
As reported in the press, Fali Nariman, the doyen of the Indian bar, said, “In Dinakaran’s case, I must say something. Very eminent people from Chennai wanted to say something about Dinakaran to the then CJI ( K.G. Balakrishnan ). Neither the CJI nor any of the members of the collegium agreed to meet them.. We were all hounded out. ”
Ad hoc, and prone to abuse
In this connection I may mention something in my personal knowledge.
When I came to know that the collegium was considering Dinakaran for elevation to the Supreme Court, I went to the chamber of Justice Kapadia, who was then a member of the collegium during a lunch interval and told him in great detail that when I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court, there were very serious allegations against Dinakaran (about alleged land grabs, etc ). I told Justice Kapadia that he was a member of the collegium while I was not, but that I had a duty to inform him about the facts, and now it was up to him to do what he wanted.
Despite my informing Kapadia, the collegium, headed by K.G. Balakrishnan went ahead and recommended Dinakaran for elevation to the Supreme Court, and it was just in the nick of time that the appointment was stalled because of the massive documentary evidence against Dinakaran produced by the Tamil Nadu lawyers, and impeachment proceedings against him by Parliament later.
Later, I reminded Kapadia that I had informed him of all the facts and said that if he had informed the collegium of what I had told him (which evidently he did not) the Supreme Court could have avoided the embarrassment the matter caused. Kapadia admitted that I had indeed informed him, but he could not do anything about it since the CJI (Balakrishnan) was pushing for Dinakaran’s elevation. But surely Kapadia could have informed the collegium of what I told him, and could have asked the collegium to invite me to present my views, which he evidently did not.
I may mention about another undeserving appointment made to the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the collegium. There was a judge originally from Kerala. He was transferred to four high courts, and everywhere he would hardly work, and left about 300-400 judgments undelivered in each place at the time of his transfer. When there was a move to bring him to the Supreme Court, a retired Supreme Court judge, also from Kerala, telephoned the then CJI Balakrishnan and asked why such an undeserving judge was being elevated. Justice Balakrishnan replied that there was no judge from his ‘community’ in the Supreme Court, and so one had to be appointed. Was this a valid reason for such appointment? And why did the other members of the collegium not object?
Even in the Supreme Court he hardly worked, and left many undelivered judgments on his retirement.
There was a further matter that I am privy to. A very senior judge in the Supreme Court, who later became CJI, wanted to get his sibling appointed judge of the Calcutta High Court. He reportedly told the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court to recommend the sibling’s name, although the person was then almost 60 years of age (a high court judge retires at 62) and had hardly any practice. This was strongly objected to in writing  by the judge next in seniority to the Chief Justice of the High Court, a judge known to be upright and learned. This so annoyed the Supreme Court judge that he never allowed the Calcutta high court judge to come to the Supreme Court. Consequently, the conscientious judge retired as a chief justice of a high court, while the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court was duly rewarded for recommending the name of the sibling of the Supreme Court judge by himself being elevated to the Supreme Court.
Glasnost time

Confirmation hearing in 2005 of John Roberts, then a nominee for the United States Supreme Court. Credit: senate.gov

I can mention several other instances of recommendations of undeserving persons made by the collegium, most of whom were subsequently appointed, causing great harm to the judiciary.
My opinion is that to ensure transparency, accountability and objectivity, meetings and discussions in the collegium should be video recorded, archived and televised. After all, the people are supreme in a democracy, and the people have a right to know what transpires in the collegium meetings, because ultimately it is they who would be affected if a wrong appointment is made.
In the United States, persons being considered for elevation to the US Supreme Court have to appear before the Senate, where they are questioned by the members not only about their judicial views and performance but also about their personal life, and these proceedings are televised. In my opinion, the persons being considered should be asked to appear before the collegium, and questioned by its members in televised proceedings, so that there is public transparency both about what the collegium is looking for in a judge and what the judge herself or himself has to offer.
(Published first on The wire)

13 comments:

  1. PENGAKUAN SAYA BERSAMA KELUARGAKU INI BUKAN CERITA ATAU PUN REKAYASA BENER-BENER TERBUKTI SAMA SAYA.
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    Replies
    1. Sebelumnya perkenalkan nama saya Rahmad Bastian di jawa tengah ingin menceritakan kepada semua teman-teman bahwa saya yg dulunya orang yg paling susah kampungku,buat makan aja harus ngutan dulu ama tetangga itupun kalau ada yg mau ngasi,semakin saya berusaha semakin susah juga dapat pekerjaan dan selama saya ingin berbuat baik kepada orang lain semakin banyak pula yang benci ama saya dan cuma dianggap orang rendah,miskin,tidak punya apa-apa. Maka dari itu saya akhirnya bertekat untuk pergi mencari dukun yang bisa merubah nasib saya disuatu hari saya bertemu sama orang yang pernah dibantu ama AKI ROTAK dan dia memberikan nomer AKI ROTAK ,dia juga bilan kepada saya kalau AKI ROTAK bisa membantu orang yang lagi kesusahan,dan saya tidak berpikir panjang lebar lagi saya langsun menghubungi AKI ROTAK dengan senan hati AKI ROTAK ingin membantu saya dengan jalan togel,dan alhamdulillah saya sudah menang togel yang ke3 kalinya.setelah keberhasilan ini rencana saya ama keluarga ingin buka usaha demi untu kebutuhan keluarga yang tercinta sekali lagi makasih ya aki atas bantuanya jasa aki tidak akan perna saya lupakan.bagi teman-teman diluar sana yang ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi AKI ROTAK di 082388316533 atau silahkan KLIK DISINI dan saya sangat bersyukur kepada allah swt karna melalui bantuan AKI ROTAK kini kehidupan saya sudah jauh lebih baik dari sebelumnya,ingat kesempatan tidak akan datan untuk yg kedua kalinya.

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    2. saya ingin berbagi cerita kepada semua teman-teman bahwa saya yg dulunya orang yg paling tersusah,walaupun mau makan itu pun harus hutang dulu sama tetangga dan syukur kalau ada yg mau kasi,semakin aku berusaha semakin jauh juga pekerjaan dan selama aku ingin berbuat baik kepada orang lain semakin banyak pula yg membenci saya karna saya cuma dianggap rendah sama orang lain karna saya tidak punya apa-apa,dan akhirnya saya berencana untuk pergi mencari dukun yg bisa menembus nomor dan disuatu hari saya bertemu sama orang yg pernah dibantu sama AKI ALHI dan dia memberikan nomor AKI ALHI,dia bilan kepada saya kalau AKI ALHI bisa membantu orang yg lagi kesusahan dan tidak berpikir panjang lebar lagi saya langsun menghubungi AKI ALHI dan dengan senan hati AKI ALHI ingin membantu saya,,alhamdulillah saya sudah menang togel yg ke5 kalinya dan rencana saya bersama keluarga ingin membuka usaha dan para teman-teman diluar sana yg ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi AKI ALHI,di 0823 1366 9888 saya sangat bersyukur kepada allah karna melalui bantuan AKI ALHI, dan kini kehidupan saya sudah jauh lebih baik dari sebelumnya,ingat kesempatan tdk akan datan untuk yg kedua kalinya Atau

      KLIK RAMALAN TOGEL 4D 5D 6D

























      saya ingin berbagi cerita kepada semua teman-teman bahwa saya yg dulunya orang yg paling tersusah,walaupun mau makan itu pun harus hutang dulu sama tetangga dan syukur kalau ada yg mau kasi,semakin aku berusaha semakin jauh juga pekerjaan dan selama aku ingin berbuat baik kepada orang lain semakin banyak pula yg membenci saya karna saya cuma dianggap rendah sama orang lain karna saya tidak punya apa-apa,dan akhirnya saya berencana untuk pergi mencari dukun yg bisa menembus nomor dan disuatu hari saya bertemu sama orang yg pernah dibantu sama AKI ALHI dan dia memberikan nomor AKI ALHI,dia bilan kepada saya kalau AKI ALHI bisa membantu orang yg lagi kesusahan dan tidak berpikir panjang lebar lagi saya langsun menghubungi AKI ALHI dan dengan senan hati AKI ALHI ingin membantu saya,,alhamdulillah saya sudah menang togel yg ke5 kalinya dan rencana saya bersama keluarga ingin membuka usaha dan para teman-teman diluar sana yg ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi AKI ALHI,di 0823 1366 9888 saya sangat bersyukur kepada allah karna melalui bantuan AKI ALHI, dan kini kehidupan saya sudah jauh lebih baik dari sebelumnya,ingat kesempatan tdk akan datan untuk yg kedua kalinya Atau

      KLIK RAMALAN TOGEL 4D 5D 6D

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    3. KISAH NYATA DARI SAYA BPK.KARTA BUKAN REKAYASA INI BETUL2 NYATA DIKELUARGA KAMI.
      Assalamualaikum wr.wb,saya BPK.KARTA seorang buruh tani di madium jawa timur ingin mengucapka banyak terimah kasih kepada KI WARSA atas bantuan AKI. kini impian saya selama ini sudah jadi kenyataan dan berkat bantuan KI WARSA pula yang telah memberikan angka gaib hasil ritual beliau kepada saya yaitu 4D dan alhamdulillah telah berhasil memenangkan 5x berturut turut tembus.sekali lagi makasih yaa AKI karna waktu itu saya cuma bermodalkan uang cuma 200 ribu dan akhirnya saya menang.Berkat angka gaib hasil ritual AKI WARSA saya sudah buka usaha matreal di jakarta dan istri saya juga buka butyk baju dimall mangga dua. Kini kehidupan keluarga saya jauh lebih baik dari sebelumnya,bagi anda yg ingin seperti saya silahkan HUB/SMS AKI WARSA di nomor hpnya di: 0852 4968 9269 atau KLIK DISINI dan ramalan AKI WARSA memang memiliki ramalan GAIB” yang dijamin 100% tembus.
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      *angka ritual gaib singapura

      *angka ritual gaib hongkong

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      *angka ritual gaib kuda lari.

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    4. Kenalkan nama saya Pak ,Beny Sutomo betul-betul mengakui bahwa ramalan AKI SAIF bener-bener top dan di jamin “JITU” 100% tembus adapun ramalan ini di dapat melalui “RITUAL KHUSUS” jadi anda jangan ragu-ragu lagi untuk mengikuti ritual AKI SAIF karena nomor ritual AKI SAIF meman selalu tepat dan terbukti, jika anda mau bukti bukan rekayasa silahkan HUBUNGI/SMS di 081355048468 dan cukup bergabung dengan AKI SAIF untuk menyelesaikan syaratnya anda sudah bisa mendapatkan angka 2D 3D 4D yang bisa merubah nasib anda sekeluarga karna saya sudah membuktikanya 3X putaran bener-bener langsung tembus dan kini sekarang giliran anda Semua untuk membuktikan Trima Kasih.

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    5. Hal yang tidak pernah terbayankan kini menjadi kenyataan kepada keluargaku,,,kusus untuk AKI SANTOJOYO kami ucapkan banyak terimakasih yang sebesar-besarnya kepada aki. karna berkat bantuannya alhamdulillah keluarga kami bisa lepas dari hutang dan masalah, karena nomor “GAIB” untuk pasang togel, hasil ritual AKI SANTOJOYO meman benar-bener merubah nasib kami hanya sekejap,dan disitulah aku berkesempatan kumpulkan uang untuk buka usaha kembali,karna rumah juga sudah disita bank,,warung makan jg sudah bangkrut,,tapi itu semua aku masih tetap bertahan hidup dengan anak istriku,,walau cuma ngontrak tapi aku tetap bersabar dan akhirnya AKI SANTOJOYO lah yang bisa merubah nasib kami..maka dari itu AKI SANTOJOYO orang paling bersejarah di keluargaku…!!!jadi kepada teman2 yang di lilit hutang dan ingin merubah nasib seperti saya silahkan hub AKI SANTOJOYO di nomor: 0852~1159~9919 atau KLIK DISINI dengan penuh harapan percaya dan keyakinan insya allah pasti tercapai.

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  2. Yes, the people in a democracy has the right to know and get the best individuals in key governmental posts including the judiciary. Read more about the characteristics of the best individuals for leadership!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Sir. How Justice Dattu who was about 2 yrs Junior to Justice Thakur (in all India seniority) elevated to SC first?

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  6. I do have only one concern - What will happen when almost all the vintage intellectuals ( whatever the %ge is) get retired from the Supreme Court of India. And the new Judges who have been raised under new culture (social, family and work) and the modern age where on everything has the impact of glamour (glamour of money, power, car, jwellary,fashion and of course sex) . I am not sure as how to do a test or judge the loyality and honesty towards the job of those who are newly appointed and upcoming Judges. Please share your views.

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  7. As far as my understanding is concerned, a Judge should be knowledgeable, intellectual, honest, loyal, law abiding, mentally strong, deserving and judgemental. Corrupt and mentals be kept away.

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