Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Judicial appointments commission bill introduced

The Union Government has introduced national Judicial appoints commission bill, in Lok Sabha. The NDA government has withdrawn the previous government’s bill which was introduced through 120th amendment bill. Now the 121st amendment bill was introduced. This bill is aimed insertion of new articles 124A, 124B and 124C

The Constitutional Amendment Bill……….
  • Scraps the Collegium System and establishes a six-member body for appointment of judges
  • It is proposed that the Chief Justice of India will head the commission
  • The judiciary will be represented by two senior judges of the Supreme Court
  • Two eminent personalities and the Law Minister will be the other members of the proposed body
The other important points are…………
  • It provides for the establishment of a six-member Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to make recommendations to the President on appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary.
  • ouraging collaborations between the judiciary and executive, the members constituting JAC will comprise of the Chief Justice of India, two other senior most judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Minister for Law and Justice, and two eminent persons to be nominated by the Prime Minister, the CJI and the Leader of Opposition of the Lok Sabha. Law Commission of India Chairman and former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah has recommended the strength of the body be raised to seven.
  • sic function of the JAC would include making recommendations for appointments of the CJI, SC judges, Chief Justice and other High Court judges, and even the transfer of HC judges.
  • would empower the Parliament to pass a law providing for the composition, functions and procedures of the JAC.
  • e entire process under the JAC will be aimed at ensuring transparency. It has been suggested that the entire record of the process, starting from the nominations received up to the final recommendation made to the President, must be publicly disclosed.
  • e JAC will work in a stipulated time frame. It provides time periods within which vacancies will be filled up. Even the government has time limit of upto 2 months to intimate the Commission of the vacancy.
The Standing Committee report to Rajya Sabha in December 2013 noted that, "Because of its inherent deficiencies in the collegium, as many as approximately 275 posts of judges in various High Courts are lying vacant, which has direct bearing upon justice delivery system and thereby affecting the 13 institutional credibility of judiciary.

Other suggestions to the JAC urge to provide it constitutional validation, thus making it a permanent body and not an ad hoc set up. It is also recommended that its decision be binding on the President and in case the President rejects any name, it should be open to judicial review.

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