Supreme Court asks Centre delay in MoP

Supreme Court has said that it will examine the issue relating to delay in finalising the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. A bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit said even though there was no time limit fixed for finalisation of the MoP, the issue cannot linger on for an indefinite period.

Saying that the court order in this regard came in 2015 and nearly two years have passed since then, the apex court asked Attorney General KK Venugopal to respond on the issue. The court also appointed senior advocate KV Vishwanathan as amicus curiae and asked him to assist the bench in the matter, whose next hearing will be on November 14.

The court agreed with the petitioner, lawyer RP Luthra’s contention that the MoP must provide a mechanism so that appointments of regular Chief Justices of High Courts are not unduly delayed.

The Centre and the Collegium have long been at loggerheads over the finalisation of the MoP, ever since the Constitution Bench in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) matter directed the Central government to frame a new MoP in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

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