‘We will sort it out’, CJI says after SC judge attack on collegium

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“We will sort it out,” said Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Saturday in the wake of a senior Supreme Court judge’s stunning attack on the functioning of the Collegium system in selection of judges. Justice Thakur’s brief response came when he was asked about Justice J Chelameswar’s refusal to take part in Collegium meetings on the grounds they were functioning in an “opaque” and “non-transparent” manner.

“We will sort it out,” the CJI told PTI, a day after Justice Chelameswar’s outburst against the Collegium system of selection of judges became public.

Justice Thakur, who was at a convocation event at the National Law University (NLU), did not elaborate. Justice Chelameswar, the fifth senior-most judge who is part of the five-member Collegium headed by CJI and Justices A R Dave, J S Khehar and Dipak Misra as other members, did not attend the Collegium meet that was scheduled on Thursday. He also shot off a letter to the Justice Thakur expressing unwillingness to take part in Collegium meetings on several grounds including that it has been functioning in an “opaque” and “non-transparent” manner. The meeting of the Collegium was called off due to Justice Chelameswar’s absence.

At a separate event, Justice Chelameswar declined to take any questions on the collegium issue which has snowballed into a major controversy. “It is not the right place to ask me such questions,” he told media persons with folded hands at the Eighth Law Teachers’ Day function.

Justice Chelameswar is reported to have said that no reason, no opinion is recorded in the system of selection of judges and that just two people decide the names and come back to the meeting and ask for a yes or no. He further asked whether a judge of the Supreme Court or high court an be selected in such a manner.

(With PTI inputs)

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