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SC Strikes Down NJAC Act; Collegium System Of Appointing Judges To Continue

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| October 16 , 2015 , 10:43 IST
Supreme Court strikes down NJAC Act; collegium system of appointing judges to continue A five-judge constitutional bench has declared as "unconstitutional"  the National Judicial Appointments Commission that replaced a decades-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the Supreme Court and high courts. All Updates: We are surprised by the verdict of the Supreme Court on NJAC. We have to go through the text, will talk to law officers, senior colleagues & PM, then we will decide: Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.
The court said the two decades-old system of judges being appointed or transferred by a collegium - a group of five senior judges - would continue.
The decision comes exactly three months after reserving its orders on the most important topic concerning the appointment of judges in the last two decades.
A five-judge constitution bench comprising Justice J S Kehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A K Goel have reserved their orders on July 15.
According to the new law notified in April, judges were to be chosen by the National Judicial Appointments Commission - a team of six members that includes the Chief Justice of India, the two most senior judges of the Supreme Court, two eminent persons, and the Law Minister.
Centre's has replaced the 22-year-old court-framed collegium system of appointment and transfer of judges of high courts and the Supreme Court with the NJAC through a constitutional amendment and ratification by a majority of state legislatures.
As of now, chief justice of the respective high courts and two other seniormost judges of the court comprise a collegium empowered by virtue of a 1993 judgment of the Supreme Court to identify suitable candidates, do due diligence and recommend for appointment as judges of the court.
The shortlisted candidates are scrutinized by a collegium of five seniormost judges of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India before cleared for appointment. The same collegium of the apex court identifies serving judges and chief justices of high courts for elevation to the Supreme Court.
A batch of petitions have been filed in the apex court raising various grounds including the lack of definition of the 'eminent persons' who would have a huge responsibility in choosing judges for the higher judiciary.
Main arguments before the apex court has been that the supremacy of the apex court and the Chief Justice of India has been whittled down by the constitutional amendment, whose validity and legality is before the constitutional bench.
The judges heard arguments for 31 days before reserving their verdict on July 15.

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