The Supreme Court collegium has adopted a new method to clear proposals to appoint judges either telephonically or by circulation method amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court Collegium which consist of senior most judges who decide on the candidature of advocates for elevation to bench comprises of five senior judges for appointment to the Apex court and three senior judges for appointment of High Court judges.
The new method has been opted amid the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain social distancing norms which otherwise would have been difficult if the collegium meetings were to be held closed door in a conventional manner. Another safety protocol the collegium has worked out is to dispense with personal interaction with candidates recommended to be appointed as judges.
On earlier occasions as well the Supreme Court collegium has opted innovative methods. In one instance in January 2018, SC Collegium headed by the then CJI Deepak Misra had introduced the system of personal interaction-cum-interview before recommending them as judges.
On April 20, SC Collegium cleared advocates for appointment as judges of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Courts without any personal interaction. Many have criticised the personal interaction procedure saying what is the point in interviewing people already recommended by the chief justices of high courts? Also, it is difficult to travel these days and individuals concerned will have to spend around ₹50,000 to come to Delhi, and if there are no serious issues, no interactions are required.
-India Legal Bureau