Judicial appointments bill passed by RS too: what it means

The bill proposes to replace the collegium system of selection of judges to the supreme court and the high court by a six-member body

deevakar

Deevakar Anand | August 14, 2014



In what is seen as a big victory for the Narendra Modi government, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday (August 14) passed the national judicial appointments commission bill, 2014. The bill, along with a constitutional amendment bill, was passed in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. 

The bill proposes to replace the collegium system of selection of judges to the supreme court and the high courts by a six-member body consisting of the chief Justice of India, two senior-most judges of the SC, union law minister, and two other eminent persons picked by a panel comprising the prime minister, leader of the opposition and the chief Justice of India himself.

Like in the lower house, the judicial appointments commission bill was passed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had passed the constitution (121st amendment) bill, 2014 through a vote – 367 in favor and none against it.

The collegium system of selection of judges has recently come under scanner in the light of corruption charges against SC and HC judges. The recent case of former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium's elevation as a SC judge as proposed by the collegium was rejected by the government leading to an ugly face off.

The new system of selection of judges in the higher judiciary would entail greater transparency and accountability. The critics, however, say it would lead to more political intervention in the process and undermine the independence of judiciary.

What is the new system, the proposed national judicial appointments commission?
The bill proposes to replace the collegium system of selection of judges to the supreme court and the high court by a six-member body consisting of the chief justice of India, two senior-most judges of the SC, union law minister, and two other eminent persons picked by a panel comprising the prime minister, leader of the opposition and the chief Justice of India himself.

Five of the six members of the panel must agree on a name for final appointment.

What is the collegium system of selection of judges?
Post 1993, the selection of judges to the high court and the supreme court are done through the collegium system. Under the collegium system, the SC judges are selected by a panel comprising the chief justice of India and four senior judges of the same court. In case of the high court judges’ appointments are made after a collegium of the particular HC proposes the name which then is cleared by a three member SC collegium headed by CJI. One of the other two judges in the panel must have been associated with that particular HC in the past.
On October 6, 1993, the Collegium system was brought through a nine-judge bench decision of the SC to give primacy to CJI in such appointments.

How the judges were selected prior to 1993

The appointments were made by the law ministry in consultation with the judiciary.

Arguments in favor of the proposed judicial appointments commission
The collegium system of selection of judges has recently come under scanner in the light of corruption charges against SC and HC judges. The recent case of former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium's elevation as a SC judge as proposed by the collegium was rejected by the government leading to a face off.
The government and those in support of the new arrangement argue that the collegium had become too opaque. The new system will bring more transparency and accountability in appointments.

Argument against it
CJI RM Lodha has defended the collegium system. On Monday, during a hearing on a writ petition questioning the reported elevation of Karnataka HC judge K.L. Manjunath as chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana HC, he remarked that there were vicious efforts to tarnish judiciary’s image through the questioning of the collegium.
Others against the new appointment commission view it as a compromise on judiciary’s independence. They believe it would lead to political interferences in the process and that would be motivated.

Comments

 

Other News

BSNL unveils satellite phone service

Minister of state for communications (I/C) Manoj Sinha has launched BSNL’s satellite phone service that will be offered to government agencies in phase one and later opened for others.  While unveiling the new service, Sinha said BSNL works where no other network is present.

Govt to raise Rs 2,360 crore for renewable energy

The cabinet has given it’s green signal to raise bonds of Rs 2,360 crore for renewable energy. The bonds will be raised by the ministry of new & renewable energy (MNRE) through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), a Miniratna enterprise, during current fiscal.

CEA’s campaign against ‘poor standards’ finds some success

Chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s campaign for some sense in country ratings has finally found some success. Global rating agency Moody`s Investors Service has downgraded China`s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook to stable fr

Doubling farmers’ income challenging, yet attainable: Niti Aayog

The low level of farmers` income and year to year fluctuations in it are a major source of agrarian distress. This distress is spreading and getting severe over time impacting almost half of the population of the country that is dependent on farming for livelihood, said a Niti Aayog policy paper.

Governance, development no longer govt’s agenda: Civil society

The civil society has strongly criticized the Narendra Modi government that completes three years in office. Citizens’ Report: Promises and Reality tha

Parody of the health mission

Improving the availability of health workers, particularly at the sub-centre level, has been one of the thrust areas of the national rural health mission (NRHM).  Back in 2005, most of the sub-centres in the country were run by a single auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM). ANMs were overbu



Video

प्रभुनाथ सिंह को हत्याकांड में उम्रकैद की सजा

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter