Supreme Court DecisionsSC Strucks NJAC As Unconstitutional – NJAC Versus Collegium

October 16, 20150

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 :

  1. Chief Justice of India (CJI)
  2. Two other senior judges of Sc and next to CJI
  3. The Union Minister of Law and Justice
  4. 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 ?

30 days

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 .For more please refer )

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