Thiruvananthapuram: Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju on Monday rooted for televised proceedings of selection of judges for High Court and the apex court, saying it would ensure more transparency in the selection for higher judiciary.
“Whether it is collegium or any other body, the hearings of the same should be televised. People of the country has the right to know who are going to become judges,” he said while delivering a lecture ‘Transparency in Judiciary in India’ in Thiruvananthapuram.
“To ensure transparency, meetings and discussions in the collegium should be televised. After all, people are supreme in a democracy, and they have the right to know what transpires in the collegium meetings,” he said.
“The proceedings of the collegium should be televised.
Prominent lawyers should put questions to the prospective candidates for Supreme Court and High Court judges,” he said.
The programme was organised by Asianet News Network Private Ltd in connection with the presentation of first T N Gopakumar award to noted physician M R Rajagopal.
The award was given to Rajagopal in recognition of his contribution to the field of medical care, palliative care and pain management, especially in the field of cancer.
The award was instituted in memory of veteran journalist T N Gopakumar, who was the editor-in-chief of the Asianet News Network. He passed away last year.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs and a citation.
Buttressing his point further, Katju said in the United States, persons being considered for elevation to the US Supreme Court have to appear before the Senate, where they are questioned by the members not only about their judicial views and performance but also about their personal life, and these proceedings are televised.
The former SC judge, who is known for his controversial remarks, said the interest of politicians was diametrically opposite to the nation’s interest.
“They are only interested in winning next elections. They promote vote banks politics of caste and religion,” he said.
On the role of media, Katju said it should focus on social issues and promote scientific and rational thinking.
However, the former Press Council chairman said the media was diverting attention of people from the main issues of poverty, farmers’ suicide and unemployment to “trivial matters” such as Bollywood and cricket.