Justice Dave will not be hearing judicial bills case

After the notification of NJAC court’s senior judge Justice Dave will serve on the commission

GN Bureau | April 15, 2015


#constitution bench   #Supreme Court   #Justice Dave   #Fali Nariman   #Mukul Rohatgi  

The hearing by a constitution bench on the constitutional validity of the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act and the constitutional amendment did not begin on Wednesday as Justice Anil R Dave recused himself from the bench following objections by petitioner SCAORA.

Justice Dave, being the senior-most judge on the constitution bench, was presiding over it. Because of his seniority he will also be part of the NJAC.  Besides Justice Dave, the other judges on the constitution bench are Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.

However, Justice Dave recused himself from the hearing after senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association (SCAORA), sought declaration that Justice Dave will not take part in the proceedings of the NJAC.

The SCAORA submitted a note and said that after the notification of the Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act 2014 and the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014 as a consequence, "Justice Anil R. Dave, has now become (not out of choice but by force of Statute) a member ex-officio of the National Judicial Appointment Commission, whose constitutional validity has been challenged".

The SCAORA said that it would be appropriate if "it is declared at the outset by an order of the ... court - that the presiding judge on this bench will take no part whatever in the proceedings of the National Judicial Appointment Commission".

Faced with the declaration sought by the SCAORA, Justice Dave recused himself from hearing the matter.

However, the submission of Nariman was opposed by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), which had supported the Centre in its endeavour to replace the two- decade-old collegium system of appointment of judges by the judges.

Rohatgi contended that the suggestion of SCAORA is wholly regrettable and condemnable. He was supported by SCBA President who said that SCAORA's objection was preposterous.

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