New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha is expected to take up the Judges Appointments Bill on Thursday which seeks to put an end to the complex system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The Bill first introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday aims to set up a Judicial Appointment Commission which will recommend appointments and transfers and make the process transparent.
The Law Ministry wants judges to be appointed by a Judicial Appointments Commission, which includes members of the executive.
The Law Ministry had said judges cannot be allowed to decided their own appointments. Currently, a collegium of judges decides on appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. Under the proposed plan, the Commission, which includes the Law Minister, will take over that function.
The JAC will also have two judges of the Supreme Court, two eminent jurists nominated by the President as members. The government is open to include the Leader of Opposition in the Commission. The proposal, which replaces the present system of Collegium appointing judges, will require a Constitutional amendment. The Collegium is a five-member body headed by the Chief Justice of India and including four other seniormost judges.
The proposal has been hanging fire for several years because of strong resistance by the judiciary. "One view has been that the Leader of the Opposition should be made a member of the JAC. This suggestion could be considered," the Cabinet note circulated by the Law Ministry read. Secretary, Department of Justice will be the Convener of the panel.
The move would entail amendments to Articles 124, 217, 222 and 231 of the Constitution and insertion of Article 124 A. The views of the Governors, Chief Ministers and respective Chief Justices of the 24 High Courts will be elicited in writing for appointment of judges as per the procedure which could be determined by the JAC.
(With additional inputs from PTI)