Bill on appointment of judges faces Opposition roadblock

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 23:49

New Delhi: The Constitution Amendment Bill providing a say for the Executive in the appointment of judges of higher judiciary is likely to hit a roadblock with the BJP divided over sending it to a Parliamentary panel.

The Opposition had already made it clear that the main bill - Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013 - aimed at creating a Judicial Appointments Commission for appointing judges to the Supreme Court and 24 high courts will have to go to the standing committee.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal had introduced both the bills together in the Rajya Sabha on August 29.

While a section of the party is ready to get the Constitution (120th) Amendment Bill passed in Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday made it clear in the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) that the main Opposition party wants the measure to be referred to a standing committee, sources said.

The government was represented by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and his deputy Rajeev Shukla in the BAC meeting.

The bills were listed for consideration in the upper house today but the House could not function due to disruptions. The bills are listed again for tomorrow.
Government was hoping to get the Constitutional Amendment Bill passed in Parliament and allow the main bill to be referred to a Parliamentary panel for vetting as per Opposition`s demand.

According to its plan, by the time the Standing Committee on Law gives its report on the main bill, the Constitution (120th) Amendment Bill, 2013 is likely get the necessary ratification by 50 per cent of the state assemblies.

But some members from other Opposition parties, including the Left, have pointed out that by clearing the Constitutional Amendment Bill and sending the main bill to standing committee will send a confusing signal that the present collegium system has become infructuous.

Under the present system, a collegium of Chief Justice of India and four seniormost judges of the Supreme Court recommend names of judges for appointment and transfer to the government.


First Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 23:45

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