Judiciary: Concerns with Collegium System and Court Supervised Mediation (Download PDF)

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Scrapping of two decisions by the SC Collegium. Fresh appointments have been made by the Supreme Court. There is a sanctioned strength of 31 but the apex court is presently functioning with 26 judges.

Elevation of Judges by the Supreme Court

  • Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court
  • Justice Rajendra Menon, the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court
  • As per the new collegium on January 10 after the retirement of Justice Madan Lokur it was decided to elevate Justice Maheshwari and Justice Khanna as SC judges.
  • Arbitrarily revoking of the decision is one of the most important concerns.

Other Concerns

  • It is yet not clear whether the retirement of one judge shall be a ground to withdraw a considered decision though some consultations were incomplete.
  • Seniority cannot be the sole criterion for elevation to the Supreme Court.
  • The Collegium system is still not accountable to any other authority.

Needs to be Done

  • To restore the credibility of the higher judiciary.
  • Making the process of the appointing judges transparent.
  • The collegium must also open its proceedings to the public.

Court-Supervised Mediation in Ayodhya Dispute

  • A court-supervised mediation by the Supreme Court.
  • Resolution of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in 8 weeks.
  • The dispute has been continuing since 1949.
  • The mosque (16th century) was torn down in December 1992.
  • The matter (demolition of the Babri Masjid) was referred to the Supreme Court by the President.
  • The Supreme Court revived the title suits to decide on the ownership of the site and, thereby, restored due process and the rule of law.

The court may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement and refer the same for:

  • Arbitration
  • Conciliation
  • Judicial settlement including settlement through Lok Adalat
  • Mediation

Mediation Effectiveness

  • A welcome option for those involved in prolonged civil disputes.
  • Mediation in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is quite strange.
  • All the parties have not favoured mediation.
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar՚s inclusion as one of the mediators is controversial he has made remarks to the effect that Muslims ought to give up their claim.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 29, 2020

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