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PIL in Karnataka HC seeks transparency in selection of Judges to High Courts; also claims for more women’s representation

An Advocate- M. Veerabhadraiah filed a petition, taking a cue from the suggestions in the Judges Cases and Last year’s judgement on National Judicial Appointment Commission, as a Public Interest Litigation in the Karnataka High Court claiming the transparency in the selection process of Judges.

In the PIL filed by the Advocate, he claimed that the procedure for appointment of the judges and their eligibility criteria to be the judges of the High court should be made available online. In his filed petition, he further suggested that the members of the Bar be given a more proactive role in such appointments.

Moreover, in many of the directions sought to be issued by the Court, in the nature of write of “mandamus” and any other appropriate writ, the petitioner- advocate sought the displaying of the names of Advocates and District Judges under the consideration for the recommendations to be appointed as judges of the High Court of Karnataka. Also, the directions are also sought against the Collegiums to receive the complaints and information about these advocates and district judges under the consideration for the appointment as Judge to the High Court, and on consideration of such information, such Collegiums to submit the recommendation to the Chief Justice of India for appointment.

Moreover, the petition also states that there are many “brilliant District Judges” who fulfil the requirements stipulated by the Judgements of Apex Court and these judges are deprived of their chance to get the appointment as judges of the High Court. And this is claimed to be due to “unjust and unfair” method of holding to the method of seniority rule. Also, petition found suggesting that the adequate representation be given to women and it is due to the fact that till now only Sixty- two out of the 591 sitting judges across the Twenty- four high Courts are women.

It is notable that the Supreme Court of India, after, striking down of the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, empowered the Executive to amend the Memorandum of Procedure- MoP of appointment of Judges. Also, the Government has submitted, in the last week, the MoP to the Chief Justice of India, making suggestions over the number of proposals. And some of such proposals are in the tune with the said petition of Veerabhadraiah.

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