States told to ratify Judicial Appointments Commission Bill

States told to ratify Judicial Appointments Commission Bill

States told to ratify Judicial Appointments Commission Bill

Seeking an early end to collegium system of judges appointing judges, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has written to state governments to ratify the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill which will put in place a new mechanism to select Supreme Court and High Court judges.

The Constitution amendment bill requires ratification by at least 50 per cent of the state legislatures. Goa, Rajasthan and Tripura legislatures have already ratified the bill.

Gowda hoped that since winter sessions of state legislatures are lined up in coming days, the required number of ratifications could be completed soon.

He said that according to media reports, Gujarat Assembly has also ratified the legislation.

"I have written to the Chief Ministers for ratification of the bill," Gowda told reporters here today.

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 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. Besides the CJI, the judiciary would be represented by two senior judges of the Supreme Court. Two eminent personalities and the Law Minister will be the other members of the proposed body.