National Judicial Commission (NJC) Bill, 2022 introduced in Parliament
- Recently, a private member has introduced the National Judicial Commission (NJC) Bill, 2022 in the Rajya Sabha.
- The formation of NJC has been proposed in this private member bill.
- The proposed NJC will recommend persons for appointment to the post of Chief Justice of India (CJI) and other judges, including judges of the Supreme Court and chief justices of all high courts.
Salient Features of the Bill
- Its purpose is to lay down judicial standards and make provisions for the accountability of judges.
- Provides for setting up of credible and proper mechanism for investigation of individual complaints relating to misbehavior or incapacity of Judges of Supreme Court or High Court.
- Additionally, it sets out the procedure for such investigation.
- In 2015, the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and the 99th Constitutional Amendment.
- The 99th Constitutional Amendment provided for the formation of an independent commission (NJAC) for the appointment of judges.
- The Supreme Court had ruled that the NJAC would harm the basic structure of the Constitution by taking away the primacy of the judiciary in the appointment of judges.
- The objective of NJAC was to end the collegium system. Under the collegium system, appointments of judges to the higher courts are made by a group of senior-most judges.
Concerns related to collegium system
- It is a non-transparent system, as there is no official mechanism or secretariat involved.
- There is no set rule regarding eligibility criteria and selection process.
- There is no official and written account of the proceedings of the collegium.
- This creates a conflict between the judiciary and the executive. Also, it has been held responsible for the slow pace of judicial appointments.
- A bill introduced by a private member is called a private member’s bill. A non-official member is an MP who does not hold a ministerial position in the government.
- It is the responsibility of the concerned member to draft the bill. One month prior notice has to be given for presenting it in the House.
- Private’s Bills can be introduced and taken up for discussion in the House only on Fridays.
- So far 14 private members’ bills have been passed in the Parliament.
Source – The Hindu