NJAC was against constitution, say experts

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was “against the basic features of ous constitution”, though the collegium system is not entirely flawless, top lawyers and legal experts said on Friday.

Their comments came after the Supreme Court on Friday struck down the Constitution’s 99th amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC), restoring the collegium system for the appointment of judges in higher judiciary.

Referring to the collegeium system, renowned advocate Kamini Jaiswal said: “I am not saying that this system is flawless… this has its own drawbacks. But between the two evils, this is lesser evil.”

She added: “They had tried to overcome nine-judge bench judgment which had laid down the collegeium system. Who knows the people to be appointed better than the people in judiciary?”

Former chief justice Altamas Kabir said he was always against the NJAC.

“I have always been against it. It goes against the basic features of our constitution,” he said.

Senior lawyer Geeta Luthra echoed similar views.

She said: “It was expected that this is what the SC would do. The presence of two eminent persons as members of the committee that was being sought was questionable. There was no regard to the chief justice and two senior most judge.”

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