"Political affiliations considered in appointment of judges"

New Delhi (PTI): Besides the judicial calibre, political affiliations are a factor in the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges, the government has said in response to an RTI application.

The reply came in respect to a Right to Information application of Delhi resident Subhash Chandra Agrawal who had sought from the President's Secretariat details on eligibility requirement of judges of the apex court and the high courts.

Agrawal's application, which also asked whetherpolitically active persons having contested polls on a ticket of a recognised political party were considered unbiased and fit for appointment as judges of SC and HCs, was forwarded to the Law Ministry.

"The appointment of a person with political affiliations /leanings are kept in view and given due consideration by the Constitution Authorities. However, judicial calibre is of prime importance ...," the Ministry said in its reply.

Dissatisfied over being denied a specific reply to his question, Agrawal, thereafter moved the Central Information Commission (CIC).

Disposing of the applicant's plea, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah in a recent order noted that the Ministry was clear in its reply that a person who had contested the polls was eligible to be a judge of the Supreme Court or High Courts.
The Ministry during its hearing before the CIC stood by its earlier response in which it said that although political affiliations of a person were considered in appointment of judges of the higher judiciary, approving the fitness of a person in that regard was the "prerogative of constitutional authorities associated in the due process."

The Hindu News Update Service