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Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC)

15 May 2015

ThappetaAdvocate and patent lawyer Naren Thappeta, armed with rigorous data, argues that ‘Eminent People’ must consider metrics in judicial appointments.

07 May 2015

Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi attacked the collegium system during his arguments in the Supreme Court yesterday defending the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), using the example of allegations of bias and nepotism in 2013 judicial appointments, reported the Indian Express.

He cited former Gujarat high court chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya’s letter to the president that had alleged that the then-chief justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir had impeded his elevation to the Supreme Court because he had earlier, as part of the collegium, opposed the elevation of Kabir’s sister to the Calcutta high court.

“I dare say this but there are several examples like this. And what was the weightage given to the letter written by a fellow judge? How was that not important to collegium?” Rohatgi told the Constitution Bench led by Justice JS Khehar, as reported by /Express/.

Kabir’s sister Shukla Kabir Sinha was appointed as a Calcutta high court judge in 2010 by a collegium in which Kabir had recused himself from the decision, while Bhattacharya, who was also a part of the collegium, had objected to her elevation.

15 April 2015

Mint reported that Justice Anil R Dave, who’s heading the five-judge constitution bench that will hear challenges to the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, today recused himself from the case:

The move came after senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, who represents lawyers body and petitioner Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association, raised an objection. He argued that after a 13 April notification by the government which brought into force the NJAC Act, Justice Dave became part of the commission whose validity has been challenged.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi called the objection raised by Nariman “unfounded” and “completely condemnable”.

07 April 2015

The proposed National Judicial Appointments Commission’s (NJAC) validity will now be examined by a Constitution bench in the Supreme Court after a three judge bench referred petitions challenging it to a five judge bench, reported//Mint.

The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association, the Bar Association of India and several individual lawyers had challenged the NJAC Act on the ground that not only did it threaten the independence of the judiciary but also that the parliament was not competent to pass it because the constitutional amendment giving it such power had not come into effect.

Senior advocate Fali Nariman had argued before the bench of justices Anil R Dave, J Chelameswar and Madan B Lokur that there was a substantial question of law involved in the case, which could be considered only by a constitution bench.

06 February 2015

Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu and the apex court’s most senior judges have decided to continue holding collegium meetings to recommend new judges, reported the Indian Express, despite law minister DV Sadananda Gowda late last month warning that there would be no new judges until the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was functioning and the writs challenging the body were disposed of.

No names have been finalised yet by the collegium, reported the Express, but sources said that the collegium felt that without the NJAC and constitional amendment having been notified, the collegium should continue meeting and recommending names for appointment to the bench.

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