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SCAORA questions government stand on NJAC in Supreme Court

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, June 17: The Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) on Wednesday questioned in the apex court the central government’s claim that junking the collegium system for tiol Judicial Appointment Commission was “the will of the tion”. Assailing the government’s contention that the “tion wants it (NJAC)”, “people want it”, SCAORA wondered which tion the rendra Modi government was referring to: the tion of haves — whose numbers are fast increasing - or the tion of have-nots — whose condition, hopes and expectations have not markedly improved over the decades. “I would suggest that no one may speak (or claim to speak) on behalf of the tion as the tion is never before the court,” senior counsel Fali riman told the apex court constitution bench comprising Justices Jagdish Singh Khehar, J. Chelameswar, Madan B. Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel in his rejoinder arguments on behalf of SCAORA.

To buttress his position, riman referred to an earlier judgment of the apex court which said “no one may speak for parliament as parliament is never before the court”. Contending that the primacy of the judiciary as a concept that was an “athema” to the elected representatives both in parliament and state legislatures, riman referred to several amendments to the Constitution to neutralise Supreme Court verdicts. Taking advantage of the vulnerability of the collegium system for appointment of judges to higher judiciary on account of its “lack of transparency”, riman said, NJAC had been brought forth, which however “totally erodes and greatly damages the independence of judiciary”.

Advocating transparency in the selection of judges to the extent of maintaining a record of the criteria and exercises that underwent in the selection process, including recording the minutes, riman cautioned that exposing the system to public scrutiny through Right to Information Act would have its pitfalls. Describing it as “a bit alarming”, the SCAORA cousel said exposing the “confabulations and consultations” to public scrutiny would subject the appointment process to public, political and media pressures. Meanwhile, the central government defended the introduction of NJAC Act, 2014, and the Constitution’s 99th amendment simultaneously in parliament in August 2014, saying that the same could not be questioned on the grounds of competence of parliament to do so or any infringement of the procedure as the same could not be questioned before the court. (ians)

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