Democracy is supposed to ensure a system of governance by such individuals or the groups thereof as have an enlightened sense of social conscience . No decision herein can be arrived at arbitrarily to serve any select individuals or groups . All decisions of the state must rather have to emanate from the noble idea of fostering multi-faceted human happiness . In other words, the government in a democracy has little discrimination in its decision-making. Its decisions must serve humanity and be justifiable on transparent , reasonable and humanitarian grounds .
Given this, our Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, deserves applause for having recently resolved to go public with all its recommendations to the government on judicial appointments, transfers and elevations to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. The Collegium has also decided to indicate the reasons for its recommendations or rejections of names in the cases .
Significantly, the Supreme Court has reportedly already posted online detailed reasons for its recent recommendations for judicial appointments to our Madras and Kerala High Courts. Ever since the current Collegium system was introduced in the Second Judges case judgment in 1993, its working had been shrouded in mystery.
I hope now our Governments at the Centre and in the states would also follow our Apex Court in their own jurisdictions. Today our governments make many key appointments and distribute prestigious awards on the basis of recommendations of certain bodies. Nobody knows the criteria for such selections . In the process too many clowns often get what they never deserve in our country.
Our governments must ensure all such recommendation-making/ manufacturing bodies go public on their functioning. Those at the helm of our democratic governments may recall what famous 18th century Irish statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke said : “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”