National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) : Pros and Cons

National Judicial Appointments Commission/NJAC: Pros and Cons

Question : NJAC has been questioned as violating the basic structure of the Constitution. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of NJAC?

A. Pros/Advantages

• NJAC amends the collegium system and ensures transparency and accountability

• It ends the opaque mechanism and primacy of judiciary

• NJAC also established apparent parity between judiciary and executive

• NJAC does not infringe upon judicial independence; the latter is regarded as separation of powers between organs

• NJAC integrates judiciary with executive and makes it inclusive

• Provision of veto is there for appointing eminent persons making NJAC non-arbitrary

• NJAC also creates a professional judicial HR management agency

• Collegium system is opaque regarding appointment and transfer of judges of higher judiciary; NJAC seeks to rectify this

• Growing corruption and nepotism in judiciary will be checked by NJAC

• Collegium system does not provide adequate tenure for HC justices

• The consultation process is secretive and unknown to the judiciary

• Appointments in collegium system are not always based on merit

B.Cons/ Disadvantages

• NJAC brings about a conflict between 2 structures of the Indian Constitution namely Judicial Independence and Democratic Accountability

• NJAC is titled towards executive rather than judiciary; selection of eminent members implies greater role of executives/veto right can nullify judicial choices but the opposite holds true

• Wide criteria of selection open to legislative pronouncements stifle judicial independence

• Further executive intrusions can result from Constitutional Amendment without ratification from half the states

• NJAC is a ploy to bring judiciary within the ambit of executive for supposedly reforming the collegium system

• NJAC limits judiciary in ascertaining malafide actions of the executives

• NJAC has not laid out objective procedure for appointments

Facts and Stats

• The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2014 and the 121st AA was passed by RS on March 13 2014; it was passed a day earlier in LS by voice vote

• NJAC comprises 6 members which includes CJI as Chairman, Union Law Minister, two senior most SC judges and 2 eminent persons

• One eminent person of SC/ST/minority/women community will also be chosen by rotation and have tenure of 3 years

• NJAC will recommend to the President for appointment and transfer of judges of higher judiciary
Post your comment