Requesting R&AW reports on proposals is not standard procedure: Govt

The administration informed Parliament on Friday that it is not customary to request R&AW assessments on recommendations for judicial appointments, with the exception of circumstances involving national security.

According to the Memorandum of Procedure for Appointment of Judges of High Courts, the proposals recommended by the High Court Collegium for appointment as High Court judges are to be considered in the light of any additional reports or inputs that the government may have for determining the suitability in regard to the names under consideration. The Ministry of Law and Justice responded in writing, “Accordingly, IB inputs are acquired and delivered to the SCC for making an assessment on the recommended.

Manish Tewari, a Congress member, questioned the administration about the custom of requesting R&AW reports before the nomination of Supreme Court justices. He also enquired as to whether candidates’ political views, online postings, and sexual orientation were taken into account while making judicial appointments.

The government stated in response that a candidate must “display great integrity, honesty, skill, a high order of emotional stability, firmness, serenity, legal soundness, competence and endurance,” citing the 1993 Second Judges case. The government stated that, in addition to the qualities listed above, the most crucial personal characteristics needed were moral vigour, ethical firmness and resistance to corrupting or venal influences, humility and lack of attachments, judicial temperament, zeal, and capacity to labour.

Tewari also demanded information on the number of times the administration had rejected Collegium recommendations between May 2019 and February 2023. The administration claimed that “appointment of the judges of the constitutional courts is a continuous, coordinated, and collaborative process between the executive and the judiciary” but declined to address the subject explicitly.

“It needs the permission and consultation of numerous constitutional authorities at the state and federal levels. To guarantee that only the most qualified applicants are selected as judges in the high courts, the government might ask for the suggestions given by the SCC under the collaborative process to be reconsidered.

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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