In a major victory for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill to facilitate setting up of National Judicial Commission for Appointment of judges. The bill was passed by voice vote without any opposition.
176 members voted in favour of the Constitution Amendment Bill, no votes were registered against it.
A landmark bill to replace the collegium system of judges choosing judges was passed on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha after government dropped a controversial provision that required unanimity in recommendation if President seeks reconsideration. The bill was passed with a voice vote after the discussion to scrap the existing collegium system.
According to the new Bill, even if the proposed six-member commission that will replace the existing collegium system of judges selecting judges recommends names unanimously, a clause in the Bill empowers the government to not only return the recommendations, but also reject if recommended again by a majority. This gives the government or executive the final say on judges appointment in the higher judiciary, a power snatched away by the judiciary through two historic judgments of the Constitution Bench in 1993 and 1998.