Collegium System Is Best For Appointment Of Judges, No Pressure On Judiciary: Chief Justice DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said the Judiciary needs to be insulated from outside influences if it has to remain independent.

Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Saturday said that the collegium system is the best for the appointment of judges. 

Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2023, Chandrachud also said that there is no pressure on the Judiciary. 

Chandrachud's comments come at a time when the Narendra Modi-led Union government has criticised the Judiciary, with Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar raising issues of transparency and separation of powers in the conduct of Judiciary.

On collegium, Chandrachud said, "Not every system is perfect but this is the best system we have developed. But the object was to protect the independence of the judiciary, which is a cardinal value. We have to insulate the judiciary from outside influences if the judiciary has to be independent."

In the collegium system, the CJI and four senior-most judges recommend the names to the government for appointment. The process has evolved through Supreme Court's own judgements and not from any law enacted by the Parliament. It has been criticised for being opaque and promoting nepotism. Last year, Rijiju said that judges only recommend the appointment or elevation of those they know and not always the fittest person for the job, as per IANS.

At the media event, Chandrachud also responded to Rijiju voicing displeasure over the Supreme Court Collegium revealing the government's reasons for not approving the names recommended by it for appointment as judges of constitutional courts.

He said, "What is wrong about having a difference in perception? But, I have to deal with such differences with a sense of robust constitutional statesmanship. I do not want to join issues with the law minister, we are bound to have differences of perceptions."

However, Chandrachud said there is absolutely no pressure from the government on how to decide cases.

He said, "In my 23 years of being a judge, no one has told me how to decide a case. There is absolutely no pressure from the government. The Election Commission judgment is proof that there is no pressure on the judiciary."

The Supreme Court had recently ruled the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners will be done by the President on the advise of a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

(With PTI inputs)