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Collegium system better than NJAC: Former CJI UU Lalit

The NJAC was largely an outsider body when it came to knowledge about judiciary while Collegium comprises of judges who would know the candidates in and out, the CJI opined.

Judges to High Courts are appointed either from the district judiciary or from amongst lawyers practicing before the concerned High Court, he elaborated.

“Because of the subordination of courts, the high court had always been in control of the district judiciary and was aware of the kind of talent they had. Through appellate or revisional proceedings, they see the kind of judgements that are written, so they test the ability (of the district judge) day in and day out. Their promotions, posting, everything is done by the High Court. So they are the best lot to be aware of what kind of talent is in store in the district judiciary,” Justice Lalit said. 

Similarly, the High Court judges would be aware of the capabilities of the lawyers who appear before them from the Bar. 

“Naturally judges over a period of time have tremendous amount of idea or exposure to see the talent that practices before them. They are well aware about where exactly the advocate or the counsel before them stands,” he said. 

Finally, he also pointed out that since the Chief Justice of the High Court, who heads the High Court collegium, is normally from outside the State, it also ensures that there is an element of objectivity. 

“That is precisely why, rather than any outsider, like a political executive, judicial organs or persons from the judiciary are better equipped to judge the talent. And that is why, I always maintain collegium system is better of the two” the judge said.

Source: Barandbench

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