Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bill on appointment of judges referred to Parliamentary panel

Last Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013,

New Delhi: A Bill which seeks to scrap the collegium system of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary and give executive a say in the matter has been referred to a Parliamentary committee for further consultations.

The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013, introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 29, has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law.

The panel has now sought the opinion and views of the general public and stakeholders on the provisions of the bill which aims at establishing a new mechanism to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and 24 High Courts.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal had introduced an enabling bill - the Constitution (120th) Amendment Bill - and the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013, which defines the establishment of the proposed body to recommend appointment and transfer of judges.

The government and the Opposition were united in seeking to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to higher courts, saying it was essential to restore the delicate balance of power which has been disturbed.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill was passed in the Upper House amidst a walkout by BJP which wanted both the bills to be referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The government wanted the Constitutional Amendment Bill to be passed and was willing to send the main bill - the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill - to the standing committee.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill is now pending with the Lok Sabha, while Rajya Sabha Chairman M Hamid Ansari had agreed to refer the main bill to the Parliamentary panel.
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