CJAR Executive Committee Meeting on 11th may 2016
11th may 2016
CJAR Executive Committee Meeting
6/6 basement, Jangpura B, Delhi – 110014
Prashant Bhushan – Convenor
Rahul – NCDHR
Saumya Gupta – NCPRI
Indu – FACT
Alok – Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
Anjali Bharadwaj, Activist, SNS
Amrita Johri, Activist, SNS
Indira Uninayar, Advocate
Memorandum of Procedure – discussion was led by Alok Prasanna Kumar from the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. Alok gave a brief update on what is happening with the appointment of judges, the new memorandum of procedure prepared by the government which has been sent to the Chief Justice of India but not put out in public domain. He highlighted the key problems with the government draft – that the government could reject a proposed appointee on grounds of national security, that the attorney general and advocate generals would have a say in recommending candidates for appointment, that dissenting notes would be sent to the government. The entire procedure till date lacks transparency and even process of drafting has been done in secrecy. The EC decided to follow up on the draft MOP sent to Mr, Arun Jaitley and decided to send a request to the CJI to hold a public consultation on the MOP, that will inspire public confidence. The appointment procedure cannot be left to the mutual understanding between govt and judiciary. It was also suggested that an intervention be filed in the matter asking the SC to give an original copy of the MOP drafted by the government. Anjali Bharadwaj also suggested filing an RTI application.
Mr. Prashant Bhushan stated that was time to raise serious noise about the lack of transparency in appointment and that the government is not even making this procedure transparent. One can understand that judges are reluctant for this to be known whether any particular judge was supporting or rejecting an appointment. But how can there be any reluctance to share any draft for the process or the procedure for appointment.
It was decided to write to the CJI. – asking him to share the draft MOP and put it out in the public domain.
Principles that are sacroscant to the new appointment procedure should include, advertisement so that people can apply and be nominated. Also whenever a shortlist is prepared it should be put out in the open alone with the biodata of the judges who are being proposed so that people can send representations.
With regard to the controversy regarding judges transfers is was stated that only when tranfer is clearly malafide should it be criticised. The judiciary should remain strong and independent and judges should not be unnecessarily criticised. Agenda is judicial reforms – but we need to be heeding the overall political context which has a serious fascist threat. We should not attack the judiciary unless it is necessary.
RTI subgroup and prevention of corruption Act – Anjali Bharadwaj gave a short overview of the RTI Subgroup meeting and the decision to host a series of meeting once the RTI study on the judgment of the SC, HC and IC is ready. Various amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act were also discussed.
DAKSH – State of the Judiciary Karnataka Chapter. This meeting is scheduled for the second week of August in Bangalore and a concept note and schedule will be prepared by DAKSH.