At the Law Ministry’s meeting with eminent jurists, the Chairperson and members of the Law Commission will review the working of the collegium system of appointments to higher judiciary.Non-accountability
According to the government, the present process adopted by the collegium of judges is beset with its own problem of opacity and non-accountability, besides excluding the executive entirely in the consultative exercise for appointment of judges.
Due to the inherent deficiencies in the collegium, 275 judges’ posts (approximately) in various High Courts are lying vacant, which has a direct bearing on the justice delivery system.
The meeting will consider bestowing constitutional status on the National Judicial Appointments Commission as recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which reviewed the Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha by the previous UPA government.
The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013 seeks to set up a six-member body under the Chairmanship of Chief Justice of India for recommending to the President names of individuals having outstanding legal acumen and impeccable integrity and credibility to the post of Supreme Court and High Courts judges.
It also recommends transfer of judges of one High Court to another to the President. It provides for setting up of a Judicial Appointments Commission by inserting Article 124(A) to Constitution and also amending Articles 124(2), 217(1) and 222(1).
The Constitution Amendment Bill has to be passed in Parliament with two-third of the members present and voting. Once passed, the Bill also requires ratification by at least 50 per cent of the States before the new system is implemented.