Supreme Court Strikes Down Government Role in Selecting Judges

DoThe Best
By DoThe Best October 16, 2015 12:28

Supreme Court Strikes Down Government Role in Selecting Judges

  1. A five-judge Constitutional bench has declared as “unconstitutional” the law that created a National Judicial Appointments Commission of six people including three non-judicial members.
  2. The court said the two decades-old system of judges being appointed or transferred by a collegium – a group of five senior judges – would continue.
  3. The Supreme Court will consider suggestions to improve the collegium system on November 3.
  4. Petitions filed by a Supreme Court advocates’ group among others argued that the new system demolished the independence of the judiciary by giving the government a big role in the selection of judges.
  5. “The judges ruled that the independence of the judiciary is a basic structure of the Constitution and cannot be tampered with,” said advocate Suraj Singh, one of the petitioners.
  6. Law Minister Sadananda Gowda expressed “surprise” at the verdict and said: “The will of the people has been brought to the court. Will consult senior colleagues and the PM and take a decision. The law was completely supported in Parliament so it had the 100% support of the people.”
  7. During arguments before the Constitution bench, the government’s top lawyer, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had said it is a myth that judges alone can decide on who is the best person to be a judge.
  8. The National Judicial Appointments Commission was passed in Parliament and notified by the government even as the Constitution bench was hearing petitions challenging it.
  9. The law said the National Judicial Appointments Commission would have six members – the Chief Justice of India, the two most senior judges of the Supreme Court, two eminent persons, and the Law Minister. The two eminent Indians would be chosen by the Chief Justice, the PM and the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha.
  10. Days after the appointments panel was put in place, the Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would not be a part of it until the Supreme Court decides on its validity.
DoThe Best
By DoThe Best October 16, 2015 12:28
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