Judicial Appointments

Why in News?

Four years after the Supreme Court Collegium first recommended his name, the Union Law Ministry on notified the appointment of advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal as an additional judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.

Further it has notified appointment of 8 new judges to various High Courts across the country and transfer of 6 judges across different High Courts.

Appointment of Judges

Supreme Court Judges

The procedure to appoint judges to the Supreme Court of India is listed under clause 2 of Article 124 of the country’s Constitution.

The President of India appoints the judges of Supreme court.

To be a Supreme Court judge, a person must necessarily:

  1. be a citizen of India and
  2. must have either been a judge of a High Court or two or more such courts in succession for at least five years, or must have been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such courts in succession for at least ten years.

When a vacancy in the Supreme Court occurs, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) makes a recommendation to the Union Minister of Law, Justice, and Company Affairs.

The CJI makes his recommendation after consulting with a collegium of the Supreme Court's four most senior judges.

If the CJI's successor is not one of the most senior judges, he or she will be appointed to the Collegium.

High Court Judges

According to Article 217, the President appoints the Chief Justice of a High Court in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the state.

For the appointment of judges, a Collegium led by the CJI makes a recommendation to the government.

The Collegium sends the names of those who are eligible to the law ministry, which then sends them to the president for review.

The president either approves the names or sends them back to the Supreme Court for reconsideration.

If the Supreme Court sends the names a second time, the president appoints the people who have been recommended.


  1. He should be a citizen of India.
  2. He should have held a judicial office in the territory of India for 10 years or should have been an advocate of the high court(s) for 10 years.
  3. No minimum age is fixed for high Court judges.
The Collegium System

According to the Constitution, the president appoints the judges of the Supreme Court. The president appoints the chief justice after consulting with as many Supreme Court and high court judges as he deems appropriate.

The president appoints the remaining judges after consulting with the chief justice and other Supreme Court and high court judges as deemed necessary.

In the case of the appointment of a judge who is not the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice must be consulted.

The Supreme Court held in the First Judges' case (1982) that consultation does not imply agreement, but rather an exchange of ideas.

In Second judges' case (1993) the court reversed its earlier decision and redefined the term "consultation" to mean "consensus."

It was decided that the CJI's advice is binding on the President when it comes to the selection of SC judges. However, CJI would only offer such advise after consulting with two of his most senior judges.

In third judges’ case (1998) it was held that the consultation process should be based on the participation of a diverse group of judges.

Before presenting a recommendation to the President, the CJI should consult a Collegium of four senior-most judges, and even if two judges disagree, he should not convey the suggestion to the President.

Source: The Hindu

Posted by on 2nd Jun 2022