Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on Saturday said the country’s legal fraternity was against the proposed National Judicial Appointment Commission Bill.

“Seventeen lakh advocates in India are against the proposed bill,” he said. The bill proposes formation of a commission comprising the Chief Justice of India, two Supreme Court Judges, the Union Law Minister and two members nominated by the Prime Minister to look into the appointment of the Supreme Court judges, Mr.Mishra noted.

“The government is trying to interfere with the judiciary by appointing outsiders in the Commission for the obvious reason that the Supreme Court has expressed strong views in corruption cases involving politicians. Replacing the existing collegium is a vital issue that will change the basic structure of the Constitution,” Mr.Mishra said.

In order to identify the defects in the existing collegium and rectify them, national-level symposiums and seminars could be organised, where the members of the judiciary and the media could debate, he added.

Speaking about the allegations that colleges offering LLB courses in States like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh facilitated enrolment of unqualified candidates in the bar associations, S.Prabhakaran, president of the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association, said Bar members conducted periodic reviews of the functioning of law colleges, the faculty strength and their infrastructural facilities.

“A retired judge of the Patna High Court reviewed the functioning of law colleges in Andhra Pradesh. A report was placed before the legal education committee,” he said.

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