NEW DELHI: How judges are appointed or transferred by the senior most Supreme Court judgesudges - and their reasons - will be open to the public for the first time in history. The Supreme Court collegium - a panel of the country's top five judges including the Chief Justice of India - has decided that all its discussions and recommendations will be put up on the top court's website.
The collegium system of judges appointing judges has been strongly criticized by the government, which has often called for transparency and accountability in judicial transfers and appointments.
Many eminent jurists have also said that how judges are appointed needs reform because the process lacks transparency.
In 2015, parliament cleared a National Judicial Appointments Commission which would include the Law Minister and two eminent persons selected by a separate panel including the Chief Justice, the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition.
But the new procedure was cancelled by the Supreme Court, which felt the government would have too great a say in deciding judges and the independence of the judiciary would be eroded.
The Supreme Court's decision in favour of full disclosure follows a controversy over a judge resigning after being passed over for elevation recently. Justice Jayant Patel, who ordered a CBI investigation into the 2004 Ishrat Jehan encounter killing in Gujarat, was not promoted to Karnataka Chief Justice despite being senior most in the state. Instead, he was asked to shift to the Allahabad High Court, where he would drop to third in seniority.