New Delhi: The Law Ministry in 2014 sought an early end to the collegium system of judges appointing judges and plans to push in the new year early ratification of a bill by the states to put in place the new mechanism of selection.
The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, once ratified by 50 percent of the states and cleared by the President, will put in place the new mechanism to select Supreme Court and high court judges.
The Constitution amendment bill requires ratification by at least 50 percent of the state legislatures. Goa, Rajasthan Tripura and Gujarat legislatures have already ratified the bill.
Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda hopes that since winter session of state legislatures is now lined up, the required number of ratifications would come soon. He has already written to the chief ministers for ratification of the bill.
Parliament had in August cleared a Constitution amendment bill that will facilitate setting up of a commission for appointment of judges, replacing the 20-year-old collegium system, which has been under severe criticism.
The process of ratification takes up to eight months. After ratification, government will send it to the President for his assent.
The bill will make way for the setting up of National Judicial Appointments Commission, which will appoint and transfer judges to the Supreme Courts and the 24 high courts.
Passage of the bill, the biggest achievement of the Law Ministry in 2014, will pave the way for replacing the collegium system of judges choosing judges.
The bill will grant Constitutional status to the NJAC and its composition. Chief Justice of India will head the NJAC.
In a bid to streamline the judicial system, the Narendra Modi government is planning to implement National Litigation Policy, which was launched by the UPA government in 2010 but could not be implemented.
The NDA government is working on it to reduce the burden of the courts for better deliverance. The policy will help all the Union ministries and departments define types of cases to be pursued in courts and those which need to be dropped after review.
The National Litigation Policy aims at reducing the burden of the courts and will ensure that good cases are won and bad cases are not needlessly pursued. The Law Ministry is in consultation with other ministries to formalise the policy and implement it at the earliest.
Along with the National Litigation Policy that the government plans to bring, the ministries and departments are being encouraged to amend laws to reduce court cases.