Saturday, October 24, 2015

Supreme Court: Make Selection Process Transparent

Presently courts are one of the most respected institutions in India. This has more to do with tarnished images of executive and legislature than with the efficiency of courts itself. Needless to say Indian courts are extremely slow and a business with it burns common man’s pocket. However, as the last respite Indian courts are doing a wonderful job.

Ever since Supreme Court of India declared 99th constitutional amendment and NJAC act as unconstitutional (4-1 majority judgement), one question that frequently disturbs us is – who will oversee the keepers of Indian constitution. The present collegium system of appointing judges - which Supreme Court for itself - is a big black hole. No one knows what is going on there and what criteria they follow.

Supreme Court may fend off current demand for abolishing collegium. By the way ‘National Judicial Appointment Committee Act’ and 99th amendment was passed by both houses of parliament and 20 of Indian state legislatures. President of India also gave his assent to 99th amendment.

I still don’t understand the problem with SC regarding this amendment and bill. Proposed NJAC Commission will consist of 6 member panel (Chief Justice of India, 2 of most senior judges in SC, Law Minister and 2 eminent people). These two eminent people will be selected by a committee composed of CJI, Leader Of Opposition and Prime Minister. This structure doesn’t allow executive to impose their will over selection of judges.

If SC thinks this laws is against constitution, then there isn’t much option left in front of government. But one thing the court has to understand is collegium system - introduced by SC through verdicts of 1993, 1998 – should go. People have the right to know the selection process in SC and other higher courts of the land.


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