The Supreme Court made these remarks while hearing a petition seeking details about the meeting of the Collegium headed by the then CJI on December 12, 2018. This petition has been filed by Anjali Bhardwaj who has challenged the dismissal of her petition in the Delhi High Court in the apex court. Bharadwaj’s counsel Prashant Bhushan said there was a need for transparency in the uploading of written proposals. Bhushan referred to the 2019 interview of Justice Madan B. Lokur, who was a member of the Collegium during that time, in which he raised the issue of not making Justices Pradeep Nanderjog and Rajendra Menon judges of the Supreme Court. He had said that he was disappointed that the details of the collegium meeting held on December 12 had not been uploaded on the Supreme Court website.
We are the most transparent institution and we are not backing down… A lot of things go on in the collegium meeting. These are never entered in the records. Only the final decision is entered in the record.
When Bhushan pointed out that Justice Lokur had said that the decision of the December 12 meeting was to be uploaded, Justice MR Shah asked how the oral observations made during the meeting could be recorded as motions. can? On this, Bhushan said that the question is whether the common people have the right to know about the decisions taken by the collegium under RTI. He said that the Supreme Court had said that it wanted transparency but when it came to the decisions of the Collegium, it backtracked. To this, a bench headed by Justice Shah said, ‘We are the most transparent institution and we are not backing down… A lot of things go on in the collegium meeting. These are never entered in the records. Only the final decision is recorded in the record. Thereafter, the bench reserved its decision on the petition.
On this, Supreme Court Justice M.R. Shah said, ‘We do not want to comment on what the former members of the Supreme Court Collegium are saying today. Nowadays former members of the Collegium are commenting on the decisions taken when they were a part of it. It has become a kind of fashion. We do not want to say anything on this. Advocate Prashant Bhushan had said, in 2018, retired Justice Madan Lokur, who was part of the Supreme Court Collegium, had said that a decision of the Collegium should have been uploaded on the Supreme Court website.
RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj had sought information on the 2018 collegium meeting. His petition was dismissed by the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court was hearing the same matter. Recently, the Law Minister had also criticized the present collegium system of selecting judges.