July,15,2015: Today the Supreme Court reserved its judgment in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case and stated that the interim order would continue to be in effect till the verdict is finally given.
“The arguments and counter arguments were heard by the Supreme Court for more than 30 hearings. After Hearing the arguments, the five Judges bench has reserved the ordered and the verdict has been reserved today. And has also passed and interim order to the effect that the earlier interim order which was passed relating to the additional appointments, that the period fixed for interim order was fixed for three months. The court has said that the interim order would continue till the verdict is given by the court,” Advocate R K Kapoor told media persons.
In April 7, a Three-judge bench of the Apex Court had referred the matter to a five-judge Constitution Bench, the batch of petitions challenging the validity of NJAC Act to replace the two-decade-old Collegium System.
Under the old Collegium System, five top judges of the apex court used to recommend the transfer and elevation of judges to the Supreme Court and the 24 High Courts.
The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act,2014 was signed into an Act by President Pranab Mukherjee on December 31, 2014.
According to the new act, two eminent persons will be nominated to the NJAC as members by the committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha or the leader of single largest Opposition party.
The eminent persons will be nominated for a period of three years and will not be eligible for renomination.
During the hearings Justice J.S. Khehar, who heads the Bench, had asked as to how lay men can be expected to possess specialised knowledge as to which judge is corrupt and which not or evaluate the ability and knowledge of a High Court judge.
“And remember, the NJAC will be deciding on judicial appointments and transfers across the length and breadth of the country,” Justice Khehar had said.
Justice A.K. Goel, another judge on the Bench, had orally observed that such a mechanism of including lay people could be employed in appointing persons for the lowest judiciary.
Likewise during the hearings Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the five judges on the Constitution Bench looking into the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law’s validity, had asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to show in numbers the occasions in which the Law Minister had a difference of opinion with the collegium on judicial appointments.
Also tempers had soared when in a letter written by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he categorically refusing to participate in the National Judicial Appointments Commission has stalled any immediate chances of constituting the new judicial appointments body.
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