What was NJAC ?
National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was proposed to be a constitutional body to replace the existing Collegium system of appointing judges .
It would have comprised 6 persons as below :
- Chief Justice of India (CJI)
- Two other senior judges of Sc and next to CJI
- The Union Minister of Law and Justice
- Two eminent persons which would have been nominated by a committee of CJI, Prime Minister of India and Leader of Opposition and/or Leader of single largest party .
What were the proposed Functions of NJAC ?
NJAC is vested with veto power for not recommending a person for appointment if any two members disagree to it.
Senior Most Judge to be recommended as CJI
Recommend judges of SC , based on ability and merit.
Recommend the Chief Justice of High Courts. etc
What is Collegium ?
In Collegium system, the Chief Justice of India and a forum of four senior-most judges of the SC recommend , appointments and transfers of judges.
What was challenged ?
Validity of NJAC Act amendment under the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act and the NJAC Act 2014
What was the Length Of Hearing in SC ?
Who Favoured ?
The Supreme Court Bar Association favoured NJAC for appointment and transfer of judges. It advocated that it can probe cases of misconduct by judges, including those from the highest judiciary.
Who Stood Against ?
Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and others contended that the new legislation would compromise the freedom of judiciary
Who were there in Constitutional Bench of SC ?
Justices J S Khehar, M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph , A K Goel & J Chelmeswar
What is the Outcome of Constitutional Bench of SC ?
Supreme Court struck down NJAC as Unconstitutional .
The verdict was in majority as 4 : 1 .
Justices J S Khehar, M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph & A K Goel held it unconstitutional while Justice J Chelmeswar considered it valid . The bench was headed by Justice J S Khehar
It found 99th Constitutional Amendment Act and the NJAC Act 2014 as unconstitutional and void.
It restored the two-decade-old Collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary.
It felt to improve the existing Collegium system .
Constitutional Bench refused to refer the matter to a larger bench.
What is the Conclusion ?
Judiciary is an independent body and will carry the highest faith of citizens of India .
by Anand Mishra, Advocate, Founder AMLEGALS
( The author is a leading advocate and handling cases in Tribunals & High Courts of India . He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org .For more please refer www.amlegals.com )