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Mainstream, VOL XLIX, No 45, October 29, 2011

Who Selects Whom and How!

Saturday 5 November 2011



During the recent impeachment proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, some members did a little loud thinking about the mechanism for selection of judges of the High Courts. Decades ago, in course of an endowment lecture at the Ambedkar Law College of the Nagpur University, eminent jurist Upendra Baxi had recommended the adoption of the American system for such selection. The US President can make such appointment only after his nominee has been vetted by a bipartisan committee of the Senate, after a public hearing. A detailed report by the investigation agency of the Senate on the stand taken on important public issues as well as judicial and political activities and opinions of the nominee forms the basis of the hearing. The emphasis is on the hearing being public.

Inter alia the same procedure can be usefully employed for selection of other special presidential appointments like Election Commissioners, Vigilance Commissioners, Lokpals and Lokayukts. Simply broadening the selectors’ collegium may not be enough.

The text of the speech was published in the Mainstream. Unfortunately, the present writer has not preserved a copy.

Subrata Sen

182 Om Sai Nagar, Dhoke Layout, Koradi Road, Nagpur 440 030

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