CJI against Government’s encroachment for NJAC Bill

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RM Lodha

RM Lodha, the Chief Justice of India, has expressed his concerns over all the three organs of the country working independently without the interference of any encroachment from the likes of the government and cautioned the NDA government. The disgruntle is the result of the parliament clearing the National Judicial Appointments Bill, NJAC Bill , according to which the judicial supremacy in the appointing of judges in higher courts will no longer stand.

Justice Lodha who is quite displeased, voiced his concerns on the occasion of the 68th Independence Day at the Supreme Court lawn and said, “the Constitution provides for separation of the judiciary, the executive and the parliament. The constitution makers are ensured that all the vital organs of the State function independently without encroaching on the domains of the other.”

He also made clear that the government should be mature enough to recognize that each organ has to work independently without superfluous considerations. “All three vital organs operate in their respective fields and no one encroaches upon others domain. I am sure all of us — people in judiciary, executive and parliament will have respect for each other to achieve the constitutional goal,” the CJI announced, reported DNA.

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He has already reminded the government that the collegiums system has not failed. He also took the opportunity to explain it to the lawmakers that, “The Constitution accommodates a natural process” of discussion and debate before any change is made to the basic architecture of an important organ of the State.

The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill 2014 will be doing away with the collegiums system which till now had been used for the appointments of judges in the Supreme Court and high courts. This collegiums system is to be replaced with a commission for the same purpose. As per the propositions, the CJI will be heading a six member NJAC team, which would consist of the law minister, two senior Supreme Court judges and two eminent people. Out of the eminent people to be appointed, one such person will be nominated from among the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, minorities or women. The two eminent persons will be appointed by the Prime Minister, the CJI and the leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha.

Coming to the rescue of the government’s decision; Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law Minister, clarified by adding that, “independence of judiciary will be upheld and I wish to assure you that sanctity of independence of judiciary is a matter of commitment from me and Modi government.”