SC’s verdict in NJAC case ‘flawed’, says Attorney General

New Delhi/ Bengaluru, Oct. 16 (ANI): Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Friday said that Supreme Court’s verdict in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case was ‘flawed’, adding that it had ignored the unanimous view of the Parliament and states.

He also said that collegium system, which was reinstated by the apex court, was ‘not appropriate’ and ‘opaque’.

“The court has struck down the Constitutional amendment by a majority of 4:1. I respect the verdict of the court but I do not hail the verdict. According to me, the verdict is flawed. The verdict has ignored the unanimous view of the Parliament and the will of more than half state legislatures; cumulatively they account for the whole country,” Rohatgi told media here .

“To ignore the views of the people that there should be an accountable and transparent system for appointment of judges, as it is in most parts of the world. The collegium system has been directed to be revived by the court. The collegium system is not a system found in the Constitution. According to me, that (collegium) system is not appropriate and again the appointments will be continued to be made is an opaque system,” he added.

Meanwhile, Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda said that he was ‘surprised’ by the apex court’s decision in the NJAC case as the Bill was passed by both houses of the Parliament unanimously.

“I was surprised by the verdict of the Supreme Court. The bill was passed unanimously in both the houses. The will of the people has been brought to the notice of the court. Even 20 states have confirmed NJAC Bill, which was passed by both the houses,” Gowda told media here.

“I am not going to make any statements on this because I have not got the text of the judgement,” he added.

The Supreme Court today declared as unconstitutional the NJAC Act, meant to replace the two-decade old collegium system of appointing judges in higher judiciary.

The apex court 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 to hold further hearing on the issue of improving the collegium system of appointment of judges.

Earlier, a five-judge bench headed by Justice J S Khehar had reserved its judgement on July 15 after a marathon hearing for 31 days on the issue of validity of the 99th Constitutional amendment and the NJAC Act. (ANI)

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