Judicial Appointments bill not taken up by Cabinet

A bill which seeks to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to higher judiciary could not be taken up by the Union Cabinet on Thursday due to the absence of Law Minister Kapil Sibal.

Last Updated: Aug 08, 2013, 20:57 PM IST

New Delhi: A bill which seeks to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to higher judiciary could not be taken up by the Union Cabinet on Thursday due to the absence of Law Minister Kapil Sibal.

It is learnt that he could not attend the Cabinet meeting this evening as he was indisposed.

While the Law Ministry is pushing the Judicial Appointments Commission bill, some sections in the government have reservations over certain provisions.

The government is seeking to replace the collegium system with a Judicial Appointments Commission wherein it will have a say in appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and the 24 High Courts.

Under the proposal, which has been opposed by the judiciary, the government seeks to set up a panel headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to appoint and transfer senior judges.

The other members of the proposed Commission would be two judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister, two eminent persons as members and Secretary (Justice) in the Law Ministry as Member Secretary.

The proposal will require a Constitutional amendment.

An earlier proposal circulated in April this year had incorporated the view that the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) should be made a member of the JAC. According to the fresh note, the LoP will not be part of the proposed body.

However, the Leader of the Opposition of either House of Parliament will be part of a committee to be set up to nominate two eminent persons to the JAC. The committee will also have the Chief Justice of India and the Prime Minister as other members.

PTI