Now, a collegium may appoint judges

PTI, NEW DELHI | 23 August 2013 12:15 IST

In a significant decision, the government today gave its approval to a much-deferred bill which seeks to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and high courts.

The bill entails replacing the collegium system with a Judicial Appointments Commission wherein it will have a say in appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and the 24 high courts.

Under the proposal, which has been opposed by the judiciary, the government seeks to set up a panel headed by the Chief Justice of India to appoint and transfer senior judges.

The other members of the proposed Commission would be two judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister, two eminent persons as members and Secretary (Justice) in the Law Ministry as Member Secretary.

The Law Ministry has been pushing the proposal, which will require a Constitutional amendment, but some sections in the government as well as judiciary have reservations over its certain provisions.

An earlier proposal circulated in April had incorporated the view that the Leader of the Opposition should be made a member of the JAC.

According to the fresh note, the Leader of the Opposition will not be part of the proposed body.

However, the Leader of the Opposition of either House of Parliament will be part of a committee to be set up to nominate two eminent persons to the JAC.

The committee will also have the Chief Justice of India and the Prime Minister as other members.

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