New Delhi: Sparks flew in the Supreme Court on Friday as the blame game between the judiciary and the executive over delay in sending recommendations and appointing judges to high courts came out in the open.
Attorney-general K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, faced the apex court’s heat for what it called delay of up to three months in clearing appointment of judges recommended by the Collegium.
Mr Venugopal’s attempt to put the blame on the Collegium for recommending just a handful of names for high courts that are functioning with just 60 per cent of their sanctioned strength backfired on him.
“Recommendation is the only way to fill them up. Collegium does not send us the names and the government is told it is being tardy in processing,” he said. “Recommendations need to be made keeping in mind vacancies that will arise six months later,” he told the judges.
The Supreme Court hit back. “Tell us, how many names (recommended by the Collegium) are pending with you,” a bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked Mr Venugopal.
When the AG said, “I will have to find out”, the bench retorted, “This is the problem with you (Centre). When it comes to attacking judiciary, you have the data. But when it comes to the government then you say you don’t have the figures.”...