Retired Judge BK Khan
Retired Judge BK Khan

Changing of decision not wrong but functioning of Collegium concerning: ex-Judge

ANI | Updated: Jan 16, 2019 23:32 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 16 (ANI): Retired justice BK Khan on Wednesday defended the decision of Collegium to change its decision on supersession of three judges while deciding on elevation of Delhi High Court judges to the Supreme Court and asserted that while Collegium reserves right to take such decision, its 'style of functioning is concerning'.
Speaking to ANI, he termed the controversy around the functioning of the Collegium as unfortunate and said: "In this case, I do not see much of a red into the changing of decision because Collegium's decision itself indicates that some new material was brought before it, which was not with them in December's first meeting. The nature of the material needs to be seen. In case that material is such which reflects on the candidature of the two Chief justices who were recommended, the change is the decision is definitely unwarranted."
"The second question is that the nature of the material should have been disclosed and made public. My view is again not it can't be, transparency is a right," Retired justice BK Khan said.
He also asserted that it is wrong for anyone to demand for nature of material put before collegium to be made public and said, "The material is known to the collegium and if five judges and the collegium has taken a different view on that material than I think there is nothing wrong in second decision because if you committed an error in first decision you can rectify in second decision."
He, however, raised concerns over the style of functioning of the collegium and added, "What concern me is the manners of the functioning of the collegium. This style of functioning creates a problem. If this material existed somewhere, then this material should have been gathered in the first meeting itself. Now suddenly the collegium is giving you is that consultation was not complete, why wasn't consultation complete in the first meeting? This gives an unnecessary pretext to people in general that something is wrong somewhere."
The Collegium decision to supersede three High Court judges in elevation to the Supreme Court has got mired in a major controversy, with former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha and some others from the judicial fraternity raising questions.
Bar Council of India, while commenting on the elevation of High Court judges Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna to the Supreme Court, said its delegation will meet the Collegium to ask for recall of the decision and "If they don't do it, we'll sit on a dharna."
The Supreme Court Collegium on January 10 recommended the elevation of Justice Maheshwari, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, and Justice Khanna, a judge of Delhi High Court, as judges of the apex court. (ANI)