Supreme Court criticises centre for “cherry picking” names for tribunals

The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the government for “cherry picking” of names recommended for appointments to various tribunals across the country.

Chief Justice NV Ramana said during the hearing in a series of sharp remarks “We are a democratic country. You have to follow the rule of law.”

The CJI said, we are very unhappy with how the decisions are being taken.”

The bench gave the Centre a last opportunity to make the appointments and furnish reasons for names, which were rejected.

“I have seen the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) appointments…. more recommendations were made. But in (the) appointments, cherry picking was done. What kind of selection is this? And the same thing (has been) done with (the) ITAT (Income Tax Appellate Tribunal) members also.

To this, Attorney General KK Venugopal replied: “The government is entitled to not follow certain recommendations”.

The Chief Justice highlighted that the government’s approach “is very unfortunate”. “We travelled throughout the country to conduct interviews. We wasted our time? We travelled in the midst of Covid because the government (had) requested us to carry out the interviews,” he said.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice L Nageswara Rao was hearing the matter.