The Supreme Court collegium has decided to assess the professional evaluation of additional judges while recommending their names for promotion as permanent judges of the High Courts. The decision was taken unanimously by the Collegium members in the meeting held on yesterday. The Collegium, in a partial modification of its earlier decision, has decided that the judgements of Additional Judges of the High Courts shall be called for from the respective Chief Justices and evaluated by the Committee of two Judges of the Supreme Court, other than consultee-Judges, to be nominated by the Chief Justice of India.
The Collegium is headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and has four senior-most judges of the apex court — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
The decision was made public on the official website of the Supreme Court. The judgements evaluation committees used to evaluate the judicial performance of additional judges till recently. The decision assumes significance as the government had recently urged the Collegium to have a relook at its decision to end the practice of evaluating the judicial performance of additional judges. The evaluation was part of the guidelines issued by the then CJI S H Kapadia in October, 2010.
“The Collegium had unanimously taken a decision on March 3, 2017 to withdraw with immediate effect last sentence of guideline No 2 issued by the then Chief Justice of India on October 30, 2010, regarding constitution of Judgment Committee by Chief Justices of HCs for assessment/evaluation of judgements of Additional Judges of HCs for determining their suitability for appointment as Permanent Judges. The decision was communicated to the Minister for Law & Justice by the then Chief Justice of India by DO letter No. CC/HC/2017/2251A dated April 16, 2017,” the Collegium said.
In a bid to bring in transparency in its proceedings, the Supreme Court Collegium had recently decided to upload on the apex court website the decisions taken by it, including on elevation, transfer and confirmation of judges.