SC extends time till November 13 for collegium suggestions

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till November 13 the time for inviting suggestions to make the functioning of collegium system transparent and eligibility criteria based for appointments to the higher judiciary.

A constitution bench comprising Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that all the suggestions should reach the law and justice ministry till 5 p.m. on November 13, which in turn will forward then to senior counsel Arvind Dattar and Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand to collate.

"All those who desire to make suggestions may do so directly, on the website of the department of justice, ministry of law and justice," the court said, adding no suggestions beyond the deadline will be entertained.

It, however, permitted the Bar Council of India to submit their suggestion to Dattar and Anand till November 14.

The court made exception as it noted the submission by its chairman Manan Kumar Mishra that the apex body of all the state bar councils "be permitted to gather suggestions from all stake holders, and submit such of the suggestions as it approves, for consideration" by the apex court.

All the suggestions will be limited to the point of transparency in the working of the collegium, eligibility criteria for the selection of judges, setting up of a permanent secretariat of the collegium and the procedure for entertaining the complaints in respect of the candidates being considered for judgeship.

Welcoming the suggestions by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to put the already collated suggestions on the law and justice ministry's website, the court asked the ministry to do so.

The court fixed two days, commencing from November 18, for hearing different counsel on the suggestions made.

It has constituted a three member committee comprising Rohatgi, Mishra and senior counsel Fali Nariman who will decide on the lawyers who will address the court on the suggestions during two-day hearing, starting November 18.

The court made it clear that no other counsel other than those short-listed by the committee would be heard.

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