Friday 27 May 2022
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SC refuses urgent listing of plea for NJAC review

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today refused to give a specific date to hear a plea seeking review of its 2015 verdict striking down the Act and another related law, which had led to the revival of the collegium system for appointment of judges, saying there was no hurry.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said several other important cases were pending and it would see when this matter can be accommodated.

“Others are waiting, there are more important cases. You leave at that. You have made your submissions. We will see,” the bench observed.

The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act 2014 would have accorded a major role to the executive in appointing to the higher judiciary. The was perceived by some in the legal fraternity as an attempt to interfere with the independence of judiciary.

The matter was mentioned by advocate Mathews J Nedumpara seeking urgent listing of the plea filed by National Lawyers for Judicial Transparency and Reforms for re- consideration of the verdict delivered by a five-judge bench.

The review plea has said that 2015 judgement of the top court was “unconstitutional and void”.

During the hearing, Nedumpara said the issue of judges’ appointment was very relevant today and there was a dire need to have a proper system in place.

When the case was being heard, the matter was “hijacked” by a few selective lawyers, he alleged and said that this matter should be listed for hearing.

The bench took objection to the lawyer’s submissions in a loud tone and warned him saying,”don’t raise your voice. Nobody needs to raise their voice. Please lower your pitch.You are making a legal point”.

The lawyer then apologised and said he was sorry for raising his voice.

The apex court had on 16 October 2015 struck down the NJAC Act, 2014 to replace the 22-year-old collegium system of appointing judges.

While four of the five of the bench had held as unconstitutional and void both the NJAC Act and the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act 2014, Justice J Chelameswar had upheld the validity of the constitution amendment law.

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