New Delhi: Treading cautiously, the government has decided to hold wider consultations on bringing Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) that will scrap the collegium system of appointment of judges.
Government sources said on Tuesday that the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 was discussed yesterday at the meeting of the Union Cabinet which has given its "in-principle" approval to the "broad contours" of the measure.
But the bill was not cleared as it was felt that the result of the wider consultations should be awaited, the sources said, indicating that the proposed legislation could get delayed.
The government is making efforts to bring the bill in the current session of Parliament but would not like to take any hasty step in view of the sensitivity in the judiciary on the issue, they 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 Commission would be given a constitutional status to ensure that any future government does not tweak then composition through an ordinary legislation.
While the constitutional amendment bill requires two-third majority, an ordinary bill requires a simple majority.
A provision has been added that if two members of the proposed Commission are opposed to an appointment, the appointment will not come through.
This will avoid any confrontation within the body.
The Commission will also recommend transfer of Chief Justices and judges of 24 High Courts from one state to the other.