‘Collegium system not transparent’: MPs urge Centre to bring back NJAC Bill; Law minister non-committal

Some opposition MPs also demanded that the government make the desired changes in the Bill and table it in Parliament.

Rijiju however, said that it's a 'very sensitive issue' and stayed short of making any commitment.

Union Law minister Kiren Rijiju has informed the Lok Sabha that there is a growing demand to bring back the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill and added that even retired judges have written to him against the existing Collegium system for appointment of judges to higher courts. Replying to the debate on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021, Rijiju said that there has been a huge support for the NJAC and many retired judges and Supreme Court Bar Associations have given it in writing, saying the “Collegium system of appointment of judges is incorrect, non-transparent and lacks accountability”. The system, they said, does not even justify the intent with which the provision was made in the Constitution, Rijiju said in Parliament.

Some opposition MPs also demanded that the government make the desired changes in the Bill and table it in Parliament. RSP’s NK Premachandran said that the previous NJAC bill was a wonderful legislation and if the government brings it back, the opposition will support it. “If there was any mistake in the drafting or anything, the minister may correct it and bring it back to the House,” Premachandran said. Along with Premachandran, TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee and BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab argued that the Centre must work towards fixing a system for the appointment of the judges.

It may be recalled that the NJAC Act, 2014 was brought by the Modi government, laying the guidelines to be followed for recommending names for appointment as Chief Justice of India and other judges of Supreme Court and Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts as well as their transfers. However, the Supreme Court of India struck down the amendment to the Constitution establishing the NJAC terming it unconstitutional
in October 2015.

Rijiju however, said that it’s a ‘very sensitive issue’ and stayed short of making any commitment. The law minister also clarified that his statement should not be taken as a challenge to the independence of the judiciary. Earlier, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had also demanded that the government should bring back the NJAC Bill.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express Telegram Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.