Taking strong note of the inordinate delay in the appointment of judges to various high courts across the country, the Supreme Court on 28 October said it cannot sit over a situation where the executive inaction is decimating the judiciary.
Expressing its anguish over the tardy process, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said it has been very patient and tolerant so far, but the government inaction is scuttling the process of judicial appointments. "We are not trying to be adversarial, but want cordiality to continue, they said.
Noting that courtrooms across the country are being locked because of lack of judges, the bench said the Collegium has made various recommendations for the appointment of judges, but the government is sitting on them.
The Collegium proposes names after due deliberations and vetting, but in some cases recommended names have seen no movement from the government for over nine months, the court said.
Stating that the government is free to express its reservations, the bench said the government must return the names to Collegium instead of sitting on them.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that there is a need to finalise Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) before passing the names.
The apex court has fixed the matter for further hearing on 11 November.