National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill

Date: January 04, 2015

National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill

The Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014


NJAC is a proposed constitutional body responsible for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary in India. JAC Bill seeks to replace the collegium system of appointing the judges of Supreme Court and all High Courts with judicial appointments commission wherein the executive will have a say in appointing the judges. The Bill provides for the procedure to be followed by the NJAC for recommending persons for appointment as Chief Justice of India and other Judges of the Supreme Court (SC), and Chief Justice and other Judges of High Courts (HC).The amendment bill seeks changes in articles 124,217,222 and 231.A new article, Article 124A, (which provides for the composition of the NJAC) will be inserted into the Constitution. 

The commission will consist of the following members:

      1-Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)

      2-Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio

      3-The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio

      4-Two eminent persons (to be nominated by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister of India and the Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha), provided that of the two eminent persons, one person would be from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC or minority communities or a woman. The eminent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination.

Functions of the Commission:

Recommending persons for appointment  as Chief Justice of India, Judges of the Supreme Court, Chief Justices of High Courts and other Judges of High Courts and there transfers. And also ensuring that the persons recommended are of ability and integrity.

How the NJAC will help:

The NJAC will bring transparency in judicial appointments in the highest courts and resolve the issues related with collegium system. It would restore an equal role for the executive in higher judicial appointments.Under the present Collegium system, the Chief Justice of India would consult the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court for Supreme Court appointments and two senior-most judges for high court appointments. 

Why in News-

15 States have ratified the Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014. It will give a constitutional status to the commission. The NJAC Bill, passed by Parliament in August, had to be ratified by at least half the State legislatures before it got the Constitutional status.