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Judicial independence 'paramount': AAP on NJAC verdict

The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday said the Supreme Court verdict holding National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) as unconstitutional has established that judiciary is "paramount" and termed it as a "great blow" to NDA government.

PTI| Updated: Oct 16, 2015, 14:35 PM IST

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday said the Supreme Court verdict holding National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) as unconstitutional has established that judiciary is "paramount" and termed it as a "great blow" to NDA government.

However, the party also called for reforms and greater transparency in the 22-year-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary.

AAP leader Ashutosh said the Centre's "haste" in bringing the NJAC Act had sown seeds of doubt about its intentions with respect to the judiciary.

"Independence of judiciary is paramount. But collegium system should also ensure greater transparency in judges selection...SC should create internal filters and reform collegium system to make it more credible," he said.

AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said that the apex court verdict ensured that the government was "defeated" in its attempts to trample over judicial independence, "in the pretext of appointment of judges".

The leaders noted that the party will take a broader call on the issue after going through the entire judgement.

In a series of tweets, Ashutosh alleged that independence of judiciary is under "threat" in the present political dispensation.

"SC judgement on NJAC is historic. The judgement is a great blow to the Central government that is trying to make judiciary committed to itself. This government made CJI as Governor. That was brazen," he said.

The AAP leader was referring to the appointment of former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam as the Governor of Kerala.

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court today declared as unconstitutional the law brought by the NDA government to replace the over two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary.

The apex court, which quashed the NJAC Act in an unanimous verdict, also declared as unconstitutional the 99th amendment to the Constitution to bring in the Act to replace the collegium system.