NJAC similar to Collegium in the matter of circumscribing the President’s Powers: Supreme Court

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New Delhi: Honourable Apex Court pointed NJAC as not better, when the collegium was to be criticised for allegedly curtailing the powers of the President in appointing judges.

On the issues of Collegium System and NJA Commission, it was stated by the Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, on this Friday, that the mistakes can also be made by the new Commission being National Judicial Appointments Commission- NJAC in selection process of judges and also there has not been provided a better status to the President of India under the nascent law.

It was observed by the Constitution Bench led by Justice J. S. Khehar that irrespective of the question that who will select the Judges, either NJA Commission or Collegium System or otherwise anybody, the mistake will seen as the appointments will be made on the basis of available materials with the Members of those systems. As such the Bench pointed that there will be one of the most important questions, which will arise in any system, as who will be better responsible to judge the potential of the candidates.

It was further the said Constitution bench comprising of Justice, J. S. Khehar, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice M. B. Lokur, Justice K. Joseph and Justice A. K. Goel questioned the Government over blaming the Apex Court in relation to its taking away the power of the President  in cases of the appointment of the judges under the decisions made in the Second Judge’s Case.

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The Bench has further observed that the President’s power in NJA Commission is absolutely circumscribed, as it was mentioned in the concerned legislation itself that the President shall (mandatorily) accept the NJA Commission’s recommendations. And it was also pointed by the Court that there a continue argument contending that the Collegium system is not good as it is circumscribing the powers of the President.

As the issues connected with the re- consideration of the Second Judge’s Case were to refer to the Larger Bench of the Court, it was questioned by this Bench of the Court to the Government that would it be proper for these five- Judges Bench to decide, independently, the matters of validity of the Amendments to the Constitution and also of the NJAC legislation.

Demanding the interim order to be passed mentioning the refusal of the Court in relation to looking into the judgement of the Nine- Judges bench in the Second Judge’s Case, the Attorney General Mr. Mukul Rohatgi said to agree on question raised by this Bench. However, the said demand was rejected by the Bench and it was stated that this could not be an embargo and it will definitely look at that judgement of the 9- Judges, in the case of Second Judge.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.