New Delhi: A petition was today filed in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 which ends the two-decade-old collegium system of judges themselves selecting and appointing judges for higher judiciary.
The petition filed by senior advocate Bhim Singh challenging the legality and constitutional validity of the NJAC Act, 2014 and the constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014, comes barely a week after President Pranab Mukherjee accorded assent to them.
Singh, who is also the chief of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, termed them as illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional and contended the new system will result in excessive dominance of the executive in appointment of judges to the superior judiciary and recommendation of the Chief
Justice of India would be reduced to mere suggestion.
The petition said the new process is likely to jeopardize the appointment of judges in higher courts resulting into further delay in rendering justice to the common people of the society who are already suffering from delaying process of justice.
The senior advocate challenged the legality and constitutional validity of the NJAC Act, 2014 saying that it is violative of Articles 14, 21 and other provisions of the Constitution and the foundation for the principle of judicial independence.
The petitioner said that on December 31, 2014, President of India has given his assent to two bills including, the NJAC Bill, 2014 and the constitution (121 Amendment) Bill, 2014 and “the aforesaid two Acts have caused excessive dominance of the executive in the mater of appointment of judges to the superior judiciary as well as in the formation of its structural composition discarding the opinion of Chief Justice of India.”
“... in all the matters thereof totally derogating the indispensable independence and integrity of the judiciary, which is inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution contrary with the oath and affirmation made and subscribed bearing “Allegiance to the Constitution of India”, it said.