Parliament passes Constitutional Amendment Bill (121st)

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The Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014 on 13th August and is all set to pass the National Judicial Appointments Bill.

The latter is to set up a National Judicial Commission for appointment and transfer of Judges of High Court and Supreme Court. This Commission will replace the prevailing Collegium system in which the SC consists of 5 Senior most Judges including the Chief Justice recommending the names for appointment. The Lok Sabha had already passed it on 12th August 2014. 

According to this Bill, the National Judicial Appointments Commission would consist:

  • The Chief Justice of India, Chairperson, ex-officio;
  • two other Senior Judges of the SC next to CJI- Members, ex-officio;
  • the Union Minister in charge of Law and Justice– Member, ex-officio
  • two eminent persons to be nominated by the committee consisting of the Prime mInister, the CJI and the Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha/House of People or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party in the Lok Sabha

It will probably take a minimum of 8 months to place the Bill for President’s assent as the Constitution Amendment shall be ratified by half of the State Assemblies.

The government asserted that the measure was aimed at ensuring that only meritorious people are selected as judges to the higher courts.