There was a 4:1 verdict in the NJAC case. It was stripped down from the 99th constitutional amendment act. J. Jasti Chelameswar alone mentioned against the collegium system. According to him, an independent system of judiciary created a confidence in society, the increasing pending cases before the courts was not a sign of efficiency. He opined that the basic features of our Constitution didn’t grant favors to any individual fundamentally or institutionally. Judges Jagdish Singh Kehar, Madan B. Lokur, KurienJoseh and Adarsh Kumar Goel unanimously rendered the NJAC unconstitutional. They opined that the judicial recommendation is to be treated as a priority and there cannot be compromises with respect to it. NJAC were given the authority through Art. 124(A) to appoint judges of higher judicial bodies and Art 124(C) vested powers upon the parliament to regulate the procedure of selection of judges.
This according to the majority judges was ultra-vires to the basic structure and threatened the independence of the Indian judicial system. They held that rule of law & independence of the judiciary was parts of articles 14, 19 and 21 and that the doctrine of basic structure didn’t apply on judging validity of the parliamentary statute. The constitution of our country has vested powers upon the Supreme Court to review amendments if they violate the basic structure. Thus the NJAC was struck down.
There is no doubt that certain countries have a great judicial system even with the interference of the executive, but in India where politics no longer holds the strong idea of conducting activities and making group decisions to improve the status of the nation. The judges might have made the decision in fear that during future political interventions the judiciary might be inflicted with uncalled liabilities and the doctrine of reciprocity.
Denmark has the world’s best judicial system as of 2020 and their judgeship vacancies of the Supreme Court are publicized. The judges are appointed by the Queen taking the suggestions of the Judicial Appointments Council and the Minister of Justice. The king in council solely appoints the judges in Norway, and the President of Finland appoints judges on recommendations from the Judicial Appointments Board that has at least 8 members along with a chairperson and a vice – chairperson.
The democracy of the UK, which is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, has an Independent JAC (Judicial Appointments Commission) that takes care of appointment of judges. It has a total of 15 members i.e., 3 from the judiciary and the rest 12 who are appointed through an open competition. The chairman of this commission is appointed in the same manner. Judicial Appointments Conduct and ombudsman is another authoritative body that coexists to look over the issues and complaints related to appointment and judicial conducts and disciplines.
South Africa follows the steps of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi and their President appoints the judges with the consultation from the Judicial Services Commission . It has 23 members who are Judges, Advocates, Legal Professors, parliament members and eminent people appointed by the President.
The Federal Constitutional Court is the apex court of Italy and has 15 judges. One third of them are appointed by their President, the other one third by a joint session in their parliament and the remaining one third is appointed through the highest instances of administrative and ordinary Courts.
The international Courts are functioning appropriately even with the interference of the executive. This points out that the issue with the system of appointment of judges in India lies within the judicial officers themselves.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge