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Narendra Modi Cabinet defers decision on bill to scrap collegium system

Wednesday, 6 August 2014 - 9:44pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A decision on a Law Ministry proposal to bring constitutional amendment bill to scrap the collegium system of appointment of judges was deferred by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

The bill came up for discussion but it was felt that more confabulations were required on the issue, sources said. According to the proposal, National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 to amend the constitution to make way for the proposed body to be headed by the Chief Justice of India will be moved in Parliament.

Besides the Chief Justice, the judiciary would be represented by two senior judges of the Supreme Court. Two eminent personalities and the Law Minister will be the other members of the proposed six-member body.

To allay fears of the judiciary, the composition of the Commission would be given a constitutional status to ensure that any future government does not tweak the composition through an ordinary legislation.
While the constitutional amendment bill requires two-thirds majority, an ordinary bill requires a simple majority.

The two eminent personalities will be selected by a collegium of Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha or the leader of the single-largest opposition party in the Lower House.

The provision of having the leader of the single largest opposition party has been made even as there is uncertainty over Congress getting the Leader of the Opposition post in Lok Sabha.

The government will bring another bill defining the procedures of the proposed Commission along with a constitutional amendment bill which will amend Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution relating to the appointment of Supreme Court and High Courts judges.

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