Sun, Dec 4, 2016 | updated 05:24 AM IST

Congress for modus vivendi on collegiums system

Updated: Sep 04, 2016 16:51 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept. 4 (ANI): With three former Chief Justices of India emphasizing on transparency in the Supreme Court collegiums proceedings for selecting judges, the Congress Party on Sunday laid emphasis on finding a modus vivendi, which is as far as practically possible and acceptable to everyone.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said all stakeholders in the legal process must have a substantive conversation as to what is the best way forward because no system is completely perfect.

"Under those circumstances, if the system precious to the collegiums system was flawed and the collegiums system is imperfect and the judges in their wisdom have found that the National Judicial Appointment's commission was again a flawed paradigm, unconstitutional to say the least and they struck it down," Tewari told ANI.

"But when you are dealing with judicial appointments, you need to find a modus vivendi, which is as far as practically possible (and) acceptable to everyone," he added.

Another Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, however, pointed out that it was just a communication gap and would be resolved soon because the different elements of the collegiums cannot have anything accept the same view regarding transparency and merit and consensual approach.

"I think it is tragic if the collegiums divisions or differences are used or exploited by any external agency.to delay the appointments process that is my fear. It is also my hope and expectation that this will be resolved soon because the different elements of the collegiums cannot possibly have anything accept the same view regarding transparency and merit and consensual approach," said Singhvi.

"So, I have no doubt that they will come together and solve this. But my fear is that any delay in solving this should not be exploited by external agencies to delay the appointments process. Since vacancies, which are already humongous and scary cannot be a casualty for even one moment longer," he added.

Putting forth their concerns, the three ex-CJIs KG Balakrishnan, P Sathasivam and R.M. Lodha backed Justice J. Chelameswar's unprecedented decision to stay away from collegiums meetings because of their "opacity".

Justice Chelameswar earlier strongly criticised the collegium system in vogue for the past 22 years as "absolutely opaque and inaccessible both to public and history, barring occasional leaks."

The fifth senior most judge in the Supreme Court hierarchy, who is scheduled to retire on June 22, 2018, had also observed that the collegium system was without accountability.

Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur has, however, expressed hope that the issue would soon be sorted out.

The collegium system was created by two judgements of the Supreme Court in 1990s in which a body of senior apex court judges headed by the Chief Justice of India selected persons and recommended their names for appointment as judges. (ANI)