In response to concerns raised by Rajya Sabha member, P Wilson over inadequate representation of minorities/ vulnerable communities at the Bench in Supreme Court, the Union Law Ministry has reiterated that there is no provision for reservation in the Judiciary and seats cannot be reserved for SC/ST/OBC and women for judicial appointments.
However, he clarified that the Government has been insisting on increasing diversity at the High Court level, from where Judges at the Top Court are usually appointed.
Wilson had highlighted that for the past few years, there is declining representation from all the sections of the society in the judicial appointments of the Apex Court
“A more diverse judiciary is desirable because without one, the chances are greatly increased for a violation of the rights on these under represented and could indirectly imply discrimination. Significant over-representation of certain sections calls into question the objectivity of the current system and its inability to recruit from different social social groups and ensure social justice,” he wrote while urging the Parliament to “step in”.
The Law Minister has now clarified that at present, there are 30 judges at the Supreme Court including two women judges, three judges from minority communities and one judge from Scheduled Caste community are in position in the Supreme Court.
He further stated that judges in the Supreme Court are appointed predominantly from amongst the Chief Justices / Judges of the High Courts and the Government has been requesting that due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women while making appointments to the High Courts.
“The Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed under Article 124 of Constitution, which do not provide for any reservation based on caste or class of person including women,” Law Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad said.
Read the letter and response here