'Collegium System Non-Transparent, Lacks Accountability': MPs Urge Centre To Bring Back NJAC Bill With Amendments

Swarajya StaffFriday, December 10, 2021 11:10 am IST
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju  (Photo by Sonu Mehta /Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo by Sonu Mehta /Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has informed the Lok Sabha that there is a growing call to reintroduce the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill, reports Financial Express.

During a debate on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2021, the Union Law Minister said that there has been significant support for the NJAC and added that even retired judges have written to him against the the Collegium system of appointment of higher court judges.

Rijiju said that many retired judges and Supreme Court Bar Association have written to him stating the "Collegium system of appointment of judges is incorrect, non-transparent and lacks accountability”.

Some MPs from the opposition too have indicated support for the reintroduction of the NJAC Bill if the government makes the desired changes and tables it in the parliament.

RSP's NK Premachandran is one of them who said that "If there was any mistake in the drafting or anything, the minister may correct it and bring it back to the House".

TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee and BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab argued that the Centre must work towards fixing a system for the appointment of the judges.

The NJAC was introduced as a constitutional amendment by the Modi government in 2014 to lay the guidelines for appointment of Chief Justice of India and other Justices and Judges in Supreme Court and High Courts.

However in October 2015, the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional amendment, terming it unconstitutional.

The Law Minister although spoke about support and demand for NJAC's reintroduction, he did not commit to reintroducing it.

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