Can't leave NJAC Act for god to examine: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to prove the Constitutional validity of the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) Act, saying it cannot leave the new system for god to examine.

A five-judge Constitution bench also took objection to the Centre's plea that the law for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary should be given a chance obeying the principle of “hit and trial”.

Continuing arguments in defence of the NJAC Act, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the panel, to be headed by the Chief Justice of India and also include two senior-most judges, should be respected and given an opportunity to function.

“Why are you questioning the intelligence and sagacity of three judges? Parliament thought about a structural system (of NJAC). Parliament knows what the people want. A vast majority want it. It (new law) has been ratified by 20 states,” he said, adding that only time would prove if it was the best system. “Hit-and-trial has been part of the democracy, federalism and Constitutionalism,” contended Rohatgi.

To this, the bench said: “The only problem is we can't leave it to god, otherwise the downslide would be so tremendous that we would not be able to get it back. It can't be (by the) hit-and-trial method. “You have to be reasonably sure, otherwise it would be disastrous. If you are so sure about the new system, say that it is a damn good model, it is the great system. Don't use phrases like hit-and-trial,” said the bench.

In his arguments, Rohatgi said the six-member NJAC, also consisting of the law minister and two other eminent persons, must be allowed to work as it would be a transparent body and subject to the Right to Information Act.

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