National Judicial Commission Bill, 2022

National Judicial Commission Bill, 2022 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha recently.

What is National Judicial Commission Bill?

The National Judicial Commission Bill is a private member Bill that proposes major reforms in the Indian Judiciary. Its key features include:

Appointment of Judges

The 2022 Bill proposes the regulation of procedures that are to be followed by the National Judicial Commission for recommending the appointment of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and other judges of the Supreme Court as well as Chief Justice and other judges of the High Courts.

Removal of Judges

The Bill requires the Parliament to present an address to the President of India in relation to the proceedings for the removal of a judge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Transfer of Judges

The Bill aims to regulate the judges’ transfers. It proposes judicial standards to ensure their accountability. It also establishes a credible and expedient mechanism for investigating individual complaints regarding misbehaviour or incapacity of a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court and regulating the procedures for such investigations.

What is National Judicial Appointments Commission?

The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) is an independent commission that was proposed to replace the existing collegium system for the appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts. It was proposed for the recruitment, appointment and transfer of judicial officers, legal officers and legal employees under the Central and State Governments. This independent body was to be composed of:

  1. The CJI as the ex-officio chairperson
  2. Two senior-most SC judges as ex-officio members
  3. The Union Minister of Law and Justice as ex-officio member
  4. Two well-known individuals from the civil society who are to be nominated by a committee having the CJI, Indian Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. One of these nominees must be from SC/ST/OBC/minorities or women.

The creation of the NJAC was proposed by the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 – both of which were passed by the Indian Parliament in 2014. The NJAC was never operationalized after these Bills were challenged at the Supreme Court for their constitutional validity.



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