- The Collegium system was evolved through Supreme Court judgments in the Three Judges Cases. But not by a Constitutional provision or by any Act of Parliament.
- The inception of the collegium system was well-intentioned. In all fairness, it did solve the problem of excessive executive interference. But on the whole, the collegium system is a solution which has proved much worse than the disease. Judges are today chosen on undisclosed criteria in largely unknown circumstances. It is remarked that it is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. The system is completely opaque.
- The Collegium system of judicial appointments has resulted in incompetent, inefficient, ethically compromised individuals being appointed as judges.
- The Central government has criticised it saying it has created an imperium in imperio (empire within an empire) within the Supreme Court.
- The Supreme Court Bar Association has blamed it for creating a “give-and-take” culture, creating a rift between the haves and have-nots. “While politicians and actors get instant relief from courts, the common man struggles for years for justice.”
- The NJAC (National Judicial Appointments Commission) was established by amending the Constitution. The NJAC Act and the Constitutional Amendment Act came into force from April 13, 2015.
- The Supreme Court rejected the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment which sought to give politicians and civil society a final say in the appointment of judges to the highest courts.
- If politicians are involved, what about judicial independence? The judiciary representatives in the NJAC - the Chief Justice and two senior-most judges – can veto any name proposed for appointment to a judicial post if they do not approve of it. Once a proposal is vetoed, it cannot be revived. At the same time, the judges require the support of other members of the commission to get a name through.
- The rationale of having the Commission instead of the collegium system is to strengthen the quality of appointments made, promote diversity and sustain public confidence in judicial system.
Constitution has accorded SC extraordinary power of making laws by a judgement only to award justice to the needy but not for usurping powers for appointment of judges not specifically granted by Constitution or Parliament. The present system of Collegium makes Union Law Ministry, a mere secretariat to type out Judges appointment orders is unacceptable. It must have a larger role.