Exclusive: SC’s Shiva Kirti Singh J. calls for competitive exam to appoint judges to higher judiciary

The discontent within the system is clearly showing. After Justice Jasti Chelameswar publicly expressed his unwillingness to attend Collegium meetings, another Supreme Court judge, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, has also expressed his desire to have a different system for appointing judges to higher judiciary.

At the farewell function organised by SCBA on his last working day in the apex court, Justice Singh said that he wished that judges to the higher judiciary be selected by a competitive exam which is overseen and conducted by a body similar to the Union Public Service Commission.

Justice Singh will retire from service tomorrow after serving in the apex court for a little over 3 years.

Interestingly, Justice Singh, who is from a family of judges made it clear that he had experienced some issues at the initial stage of his career as a lawyer.

“I enrolled in 1977 when my father was a judge. Even as a raw junior, I used to get many briefs and it puzzled me. Later a Senior told me the reason and I went into a shell for two years till my father retired as a judge in 1979.”

Justice Singh said that justice must not only be done but also seem to be done, while observing that the current method for appointing judges was not fulfilling the latter criterion.

In fact, Justice Singh’s concerns were recently shared by the central government, which intends to revive the pitch for the All India Judicial Services.

Justice Singh was born in Bihar in 1951. He enrolled as an advocate in 1977 and practised in Patna High Court. He was designated Senior Advocate in 1990 before being elevated as a judge of the Patna High Court in 1998. He was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on September 19, 2013.