A Parliamentary committee has sided with the judiciary on a controversial clause in the draft memorandum of procedure which gives the executive the right to reject a candidate for judgeship on the grounds of national security and public interest, saying it amounts to veto power which is against constitutional provisions.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Personnel which tabled its report on judges vacancies in Supreme Court and the 24 high courts in Parliament on Thursday, said it understands that the government, on grounds of national security and larger public interest, proposes to decline the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendations.
“Moreover, the Committee has learnt that those parameters are proposed as part of the revised MoP. The Committee apprehends that the government may reject any name duly approved by the Supreme Court collegium under the veil of those parameters.
In order to avoid such a situation, the Committee recommends that the terms ‘national security’ and ‘larger public interest’ should, in no ambiguous terms, be defined and circumstances/antecedents which fall within their purview listed,” the panel said.