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Former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna today favoured the original Constitutional scheme of appointments in higher judiciary, done on the basis of the recommendations of the Chief Justice of India alone. The government stopped following this Constitutional convention as per which the CJI used to recommend names to the President and barring an extraordinary reason, that person would be appointed a judge, he said at the India Today Conclave here. Asked if the merit is the sole criterion in the judicial appointments these days, Justice Srikrishna asked whether every minister is appointed on merit. "Political expediency" and "caste loyalty" play role in the appointment of ministers, he said. "What's wrong with it if we did this," he said, though clarifying that he does not suggest that the Supreme Court too should have judges appointed on such parameters. Srikrishna, along with former Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal and former Solicitor General Harish Salve were speaking on 'Executive vs Judiciary, The Final Verdict.' "I don't trust the politicians to appoint judges, I don't trust the collegium system either," Sibal said. Salve spoke about the need to have more judges, noting that the 'judge to population' ratio was quite low in India. About the delay in getting justice, Srikrishna listed three problems. "Judges are not prepared, lawyers are not prepared and judges are overloaded," he said. Both Salve and Sibal said the recent Supreme Court ruling in BCCI case and the orders banning liquor outlets on national highways and making national anthem mandatory in theatres were cases of "judicial overreach".
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