SC to hear petitions against NJAC on March 10

The Supreme Court will on March 10 start hearing petitions challenging the Constitution 99thAmendment Act, 2014, providing Constitutional status to the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).

With this, the NJAC, which is set to end the two-decade-old Supreme Court Collegium system of judicial appointments, enters its second round of legal tussle in the apex court.

The petitions are listed before a Special Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave, J. Chelameswar and Madan B. Lokur. The court is now closed for Holi holidays and re-opens on March 9.

Primary among the petitions is that filed by the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) in January 2015.

The Association earlier in August 2014 also challenged the NJAC law. But a Bench led by Justice Anil R. Dave had said it was too premature as the States were yet to ratify it. However, the Supreme Court had given them liberty to approach it at a later stage.

President’s nod

The NJAC, which restores the political class’s role in appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts, received the President's assent last week after ratification by 16 State legislatures. Both the Constitution Amendment Bill and the NJAC Bill were passed by the Parliament in August 2014.

The petition, filed by SCAORA and its secretary and Supreme Court advocate Vipin Nair late on Monday evening, is settled by senior advocate Fali Nariman.

The petition contends that by passing NJAC Bill, Parliament has “altered the basic structure of the Constitution” and encroached on judicial independence.

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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 1:14:05 AM |

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