Oppn demands new bill on judicial appointments

Oppn demands new bill on judicial appointments

A view of the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi. PTI

The Opposition Congress and other parties in the Lok Sabha criticised the striking down of the NJAC Bill by the Supreme Court, demanding that the government should come up with a new legislative proposal “to override” the apex court's verdict.

Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad, though evaded giving a direct response to the members' demand, he said that he too was in complete disagreement with the “reasoning” given by the apex court in its verdict on the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) Bill.

“We accepted the judgement,” he added

Deputy speaker M Thambidurai, who was in the chair when the issue was raised by Opposition members, intervened and asked the law minister, “What is the solution.”

Opposition members, meanwhile, demanded that the government should consider bringing a fresh legislative proposal to “override” the apex court's verdict on the NJAC Bill.

“Bring another law. We will support it,” BJD member Pinaki Mishra was heard saying from his seat while some Opposition members were heard telling the law minister that the government also did not do anything after the bill was quashed by the Supreme Court.

The law minister continued ruing over the apex court's verdict, reiterating that he had “serious resentment” with the reasoning given by the Supreme Court in its judgement.

“Like the judiciary, the government's view should also be independent,” Congress member K K Venugopal said while senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and others stood by him rising from their seats.

The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha during a debate on The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which was later passed by the members with voice votes.

In his response to various issues raised by the members with regard to the judiciary, the law minister told the Lok Sabha that he was not in favour of increasing the current retirement age of the judges.

He also told the members that he has urged the judiciary to ensure filling up of vacant positions of the judges in various courts giving adequate representation to those belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes.

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