Lawyer duo moves SC over new legislation

Call judicial appointments bill as an "assault on judiciary's independence"

A day after Chief Justice of India R M Lodha emphasised the need for separation of powers in the State, two advocates approached the Supreme Court, questioning the legal validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, which was passed by Parliament.

They described it as a “direct assault on the independence of the judiciary and administration of justice”.

In a PIL, advocates R Krishnamurthy and N Rajaraman claimed that the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014, along with the 121st Constitution Amendment Bill, were introduced in haste and without proper consultation with the judiciary, states, bar councils and other stake holders, defeating the twin concepts of federalism and independence of judiciary.

Seeking quashing of the bills, both petitioners contended, among other grounds, that since one of the two eminent persons to be nominated in the six-member commission for appointment in the higher judiciary, would belong to the SC/ST OBC/minorities or women, the segregation was “illegal, unlawful and cannot be tenable under any laws”.

They further claimed the veto power given to two members would result in suppression of judges as was witnessed during Emergency days.

Advocate M L Sharma had already filed a PIL in this regard, while noted jurist Fali S Nariman and former law minister Kapil Sibal had expressed their willingness to challenge the constitutional validity of both bills.

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