Supreme Court to deliver key verdicts on demonetization, CAA in 2023
In the penultimate phase of 2022, many friction points emerged between the Centre and the judiciary over the delay in the appointment of judges to the higher courts.
NEW DELHI: In the penultimate phase of 2022, many friction points emerged between the Centre and the judiciary over the delay in the appointment of judges to the higher courts.
Amid the ongoing feud, the Supreme Court collegium recommended the names of five high court judges for the elevation to the apex court, which is pending clearance from the Centre.
Come 2023, the Supreme Court will deliver its judgment on a clutch of petitions challenging the Centre's 2016 decision to demonetize Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes and it will also several examine contentious issues, notably: the Delhi government-Centre row over control of services, the legal tussle between Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray factions of the Shiv Sena, petitions challenging the validity of certain provisions of Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, and more than 200 petitions against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) etc.
In 2022, the apex court saw three Chief Justices of India (CJI). The tenure of CJI NV Ramana - who became the 48th CJI in April 2021 and retired in August 2022 - saw cordial relations between the Centre and judiciary as several appointments were made to the higher judiciary.
The major part of the short tenure of CJI UU Lalit also did not see any flare-up on the issue of either the collegium system or delay in the appointment of judges. However, at the end of CJI Lalit's tenure and before the beginning of incumbent CJI DY Chandrachud's tenure, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju criticized the Supreme Court collegium system.
Rijiju, at a media event, said that judges only recommend the appointment or elevation of those they know and are not always the fittest person for the job. Later, the Law Minister also criticized the listing of bail pleas and frivolous PILs, and the long court vacations.
After the minister, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, in his maiden address in the Rajya Sabha, minced no words in criticizing the collegium system. He said the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill was passed unanimously by the Parliament, but it was "undone by the Supreme Court".
In December, the Supreme Court collegium recommended the name of five high court judges for elevation to the apex court: Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court (parent high court (PHC): Allahabad); Justice Sanjay Karol, Chief Justice, Patna High Court (PHC: Himachal Pradesh); Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Chief Justice, Manipur High Court (PHC: Telangana); Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, Judge, Patna High Court; and Justice Manoj Misra, Judge, Allahabad High Court. As the Centre stepped up criticism of the collegium system, the pending clearance on the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary assumes significance. (IANS)