Supreme Court declares NJAC unconstitutional
Supreme Court has declared National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 and 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 unconstitutional and void.
Ruling in this regard was given by five-judge Constitutional Bench of SC headed by Justice J S Khehar on a petition were filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and others.
SC bench has held that Collegium system will remain operative which was established by its earlier ruling of in 1993 for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
The petitions had challenged the new law on the selection and appointment of judges mentioning that it is unconstitutional and aimed at hurting the independence of judiciary.
- The parliament had unanimously passed the NJAC Act, 2014 and the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act. Both acts were meant to replace the two-decade old collegium system of judges appointing judges in higher judiciary.
- These Acts were passed in order to bring transparency in appointment of Judges and give executive i.e. elected public representatives a role in the appointment process.
- The Constitutional Amendment Act was then ratified by 20 State Assemblies and had received the Presidential assent on 31 December 2014 and became effective from April 2015.
- Composition: The NJAC was supposed to have 6 members, three from Judiciary comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) as its Chairperson and ex officio member and 2 other senior most judges of SC. While, other three members were Union Minister of Law and Justice (ex-officio) and 2 eminent persons.