On Friday, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud disclosed that the recently established Supreme Court Centre for Research and Planning, designed to assist the Collegium in making judicial appointments, has developed a system for evaluating the top 50 High Court judges in the country who are potential candidates for elevation to the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the 2023 Ram Jethmalani Memorial Lecture, he acknowledged the criticism that the Supreme Court Collegium has faced for lacking concrete data on judges or lawyers under consideration for Supreme Court appointments.

CJI Chandrachud emphasized his positive view of criticism, seeing it as an opportunity for improvement. He referred to the system established by the Centre for Research and Planning to enhance transparency but noted that it is still a “work in progress.”

He explained that the Centre, led by an officer from the Haryana Judicial Service, includes “two very distinguished young scholars” along with several interns and law researchers. They have created a comprehensive platform to assess the top 50 judges in the country who may be considered for Supreme Court appointments, focusing on their judgments and their quality.

The primary objective is to make the appointment process for the Supreme Court more transparent, not by revealing discussions publicly but by establishing objective selection parameters for both high courts and the Supreme Court.

CJI Chandrachud also revealed that the Centre is developing a system to address and reduce the backlog of cases. This project aims to enhance efficiency through improved case classification, grouping, and tagging.

The first phase of the project is currently underway, involving the collection of data on pending cases to formulate guidelines. Additionally, a roadmap is being prepared for auditing criminal cases. The ultimate goal is to integrate detailed data into integrated case management information systems, identify cases that no longer require attention, and devise institutional-level strategies to address the backlog.

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