Let us make the space we share better and bring the change we desire. Author is Indian Muslim, a Public Figure, Social Activist, Blogger and Media Personality. On mission to build a givers world rather than takers.
The issue of judicial appointments has been a vexed problem. Initially the power was with the government who only needed to consult the Chief Justice. This led to politically committed judges being appointed.
In 1993, a landmark step was taken. The Supreme Court effectively directed that henceforth appointments of judges of High Courts and Supreme Court would be made by collegium of five/three senior judges of the supreme court who would consult the government in the matter. The government’s power of interfering with such selection by the judges was restricted to sending the name of the proposed appointee back for reconsideration. If however, the collegium reiterated its choice unanimously the government would have to appoint that judge.
Kudos to the SC for protecting judicial independance by striking down the NJAC through which the politicos wanted to control appts of judges
The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was introduced by the Government in an attempt to wrest back some control over the selection of judges. Through this, it was proposed that an appointments commission consisting of the law ministers, two “eminent” persons (selected by prime minister, leader of opposition and CJI) along with three senior judges of the Supreme Court would select judges. In this Commission any two persons could veto any appointment. Also the secretariat of this Commission would be with the law ministry. However there was no provision of transparency or any rational basis of selection.
The Constitutional validity of the NJAC was challenged by several bodies and groups on the ground that it would dilute the independence of the judiciary by giving the government and the political class a substantial say in the process of appointments.
By its judgment today the court has struck down the NJAC on the ground that by giving the government a substantial say in the appointments of judges, the NJAC would compromise the independence of the judiciary.