New Delhi, Oct. 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court’s verdict in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case has evoked mixed reaction from noted lawyers, with a group feeling the decision is “not good for the democratic process”, while another group said the decision has restored the “independent functioning of the judiciary”.
Expressing his disappointment, senior lawyer KTS Tulsi on Friday said nowhere in the world “judges appoint judges”.
“This is not good for a democratic process. In democracy, we must recognise wisdom of the people and their representatives. Considering it as interference into the functioning of the judiciary is not right. Nowhere in the world judges appoint judges,” Tulsi told ANI.
Hailing the apex court’s quashing the NJAC, advocate Surat Singh said the commission was in violation of the basic premise of the Constitution.
“The 99th Constitution Amendment and the NJAC Act have been declared unconstitutional on ground that it was in violation of the basic premise of the Constitution. The old collegium system has been restored,” Singh told reporters outside the court.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is also one of the petitioners in the case, said the NJAC was declared “unconstitutional”, as it interfered with the independence of the judiciary.
“The Supreme Court ruled that the new law, which gives considerable say to the government in the appointment of judges, interferes with the independent functioning of the judiciary, and has been declared unconstitutional,” Bhushan told reporters, adding that from now on, the collegiums system gets restored, wherein senior judges will select judges.
Speaking on the SupremeCourt’s emphasis on the need for maintaining transparency in the functioning of the collegium system, Bhushan said they would have to read the whole judgment to understand it.
The Supreme Court on Friday struck down the NJAC Act – constituted to replace the two-decade old collegium system of appointing judges to the higher judiciary – as “unconstitutional”
The apex court, however, rejected the Centre’s plea that the petition challenging the NJAC Act be referred to a larger bench.
The apex court has fixed November 3 for holding further hearing on the issue of improving the collegium system of appointment of judges.
On July 15, a five-judge Bench headed by Justice J S Khehar had reserved its judgement after a 31-day-long hearing on the issue of validity of the 99th Constitutional Amendment and the NJAC Act. (ANI)