Swaraj, Gowda Meet CJI Over MoP Differences

New Delhi
Swaraj, Gowda Meet CJI Over MoP Differences

Differences persisted between the Executive and the Judiciary over some of the key clauses in the draft memorandum of procedure (MoP) to appoint judges to the higher judiciary after two senior ministers today met Chief Justice of India T S Thakur to iron out issues.

Sources in the government said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who headed the group of ministers which drafted the MoP, and Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda met the CJI at his residence this evening.

The meeting comes at a time when government decided to press ahead with the draft memorandum despite objections by the Supreme Court collegium on some of the key clauses.

Sources said certain differences persisted on some of the key clauses of the memorandum. While the talks are learnt to have mainly revolved around the memorandum, they also discussed vacancies in high courts.

After feedback from the CJI, the government will now draft its response to the objections raised by the collegium.

On May 28, the collegium had returned to the government the revised MoP -- a document which guides appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts -- suggesting changes in certain clauses. It had questioned the government's right to reject its recommendation on grounds of national interest.

It had also asked the government to change certain other clauses.

The clause on right to reject a recommendation on national interest is contrary to the current practice where government is bound to accept a recommendation by the collegium, comprising the CJI and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, if it reiterates the same.

According to precedent, while the Executive drafts the MoP, both the government and the judiciary have to agree on the provisions before it is operationalised and put in public domain.


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