Legal experts on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court collegium’s decision to make public its proceedings on elevation, transfer and confirmation of judges.
Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and senior advocates Ajit Kumar Sinha and Dushyant Dave termed the decision as a “step in the right direction”.
They further said that this decision will remove “opaqueness” in the process. “It is a very good move. For 50-60 years, meetings were shrouded in secrecy and there was lack of transparency. Nobody knew what was going on. People will now know who is becoming a judge and why,” he said.
His view was shared by Sinha, a former high court judge who said, “It will reduce the opaqueness and people who are really interested and concerned with welfare of the institution will be put to some sort of information, and information is knowledge”.
“To either appreciate or react, there will be some scope to information which will lead to transparency. It is a first step towards that direction. It is a welcome decision,” he said.
Dave, while hailing the decision of the apex court, however, said something more was required to make the process more transparent. “It is a step in the right direction, but it falls much short of what is required. The entire deliberations of the collegium should be disclosed,” he said, adding factors that weighed in while selecting a judge for elevation should also be made public.
The senior advocate said this would help explain why a certain judge was selected and why others were not. The decisions taken by the collegium were a “fait accompli” since they could neither be challenged nor questioned.
“Best among those available should be selected. Disclose the whole process, then only it becomes transparent,” Dave added.