With Supreme Court quashing NJAC, battle between judiciary and executive resumes

By Harshmeet Singh

The Supreme Court’s decision declaring the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) as ‘unconstitutional’ drew contrasting reactions from different corners. While the telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad termed it as ‘an attack on the Parliament’s sovereignty’, senior SC lawyer Ram Jethmalani hailed the judgment, calling it a ‘great success for the Indian Democracy’.

Ever since the idea of NJAC was floated, the judiciary seemed averse to the thought of giving away its prerogative of appointing judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. Until now, the appointment of judges was done by the Collegium system. Under this system, a collegium consisting of the Chief Justice of India and the 4 senior most judges of the Supreme Court recommended the transfer and appointment of the judges. This system came into being as a result of the famous ‘Three Judges Case’ of 1998. In the recent years, the collegium system has come under heavy criticism with judges being accused of abusing their power, nepotism and giving birth to a ‘give & take’ culture. Also, this collegium system doesn’t find any mention in the constitution. The article 124 of the constitution says that ‘the President should appoint Supreme Court judges after consultation with such judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court as he/she may deem necessary. The Chief Justice of India is to be consulted in all appointments barring his/her own.’

The proposed NJAC was to be comprised of the Chief Justice, two senior most judges of the SC, the Union Law Minister and two eminent personalities, thereby taking away Judiciary’s exclusive right to appoint judges. Many experts termed Government’s plans of introducing the NJAC as an attempt to take away the independence of the judiciary, which is the 3rd pillar of our democracy. Interestingly, the NJAC bill turned out to be one of the very few bills which got multi party support at the centre as well as in the states.

This isn’t the first time when the NDA government tried to alter the collegium system. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was at the helm, the NDA government set up the Justice MN Ventakachaliah commission to study if the current system of appointment of judges needed any changes. The Commission recommended the formation of NJAC which was almost similar to the current form of NJAC, but it couldn’t materialize then.

Though the collegium system seems far from perfect, SC’s concerns over involvement of politicians in the appointment of judges are completely justified. The appointment of Justice AN Ray as the Chief Justice of India, superseding 3 senior judges, at the behest of Indira Gandhi is still considered as one of the darkest chapters in the history of Indian Judicial system. With the judiciary being given the power of ‘judicial review’ by the constitution to keep a check on the Parliament’s law making prerogative, parliament’s control over the judges would destroy the delicate balance between the two arms of Indian democracy.

While the SC completely dismissed the constitutional validity of the NJAC, it humbly accepted that the collegium system can be made better and asked for further discussions on the same. Let us hope that a common ground is found between the two parties with none considering it as a matter of personal pride!


The author is a Freelance writer. This article was written exclusively for NewsGram.


  1. READERS IN GENERAL KNOW THAT Decisions are taken at various levels, in all spheres of our lives. “Judiciary” is left to take wise precarious sensitive decisions on issues of the common people, IF in the real interest of the people of the country, with national interest. It is all, in the way we all look at, since applies to personalities with related relevant subjective knowledge. Every knowledge is superior in its relevant place, which should not be forgotten, the subject and time of its occurrence. It is our vision and thoughtful-mind that makes it, of the variations in varying perceptions of each personalities. While considering the subject of LAW and Justice, proximity, vicinity and concern to our people with a broader perspective on humanity, we also come to know that “The UK does not have a constitution per se, certainly not in the same way that the US or Germany does. Instead we have a series of rules and guidelines, powers and laws which govern how the country is run and where power lies. This area of law, primarily to make sure that ‘power is not abused’ and that it is used in an appropriate manner. Someone has to keep a check on the government, to the changing times and that is where this area of LAW steps up to the plate. Constitutional or Administrative Law is arguably the most important in existence; without it there could be no other laws and the state would not be able to function. It
    holds our country together. Practising administrative or constitutional law means you will either be employed by the state in the Government Legal Service (GLS), or in a private practice. Incidentally, the GLS is the largest employer of lawyers in the UK. As a honest, qualified and enlightened lawyer, if to serve efficiently to his/her best should keep abreast with the updates, with the changing situations, managerially, technologically as well, in the surroundings and working professional arena. to ensure that our government bodies and agencies are acting in the public interest. Therefore, the need for working alongside the NHS, your local council or the police. Sometimes the state does not follow the interests of the public, or works in contra-vention of its obligations under national and international law. For example, if a local councillor has ten parking permits and gives them all to their friends and family for no other reason than because they are related to them, then this is clearly unfair and
    administrative law can be applied to make sure they does not abuse their position.

    Similarly, if the police torture, whilst in custody, then there will have been a breach of
    the European Convention of Human Rights (Art. 3) and your action against the
    state will be pursued through this constitutional or administrative law. Hence, the Constitutional
    and Administrative law is a stimulating and exciting option, which one has to consider, IF implemented, unbiased, in the right good spirit. WHILE there are crying needs of the people for years and decades in INDIA, going neglected with discrimination, not valuing the precious TIME of the People’s limited life-span, after 68 years of Indian Independence, all owing to “JUDGES SELECTING THEIR OWN JUDGES” without considering on their true credibility. BETTER JUDICIARY MUST FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  2. Any learned and enlightened person need to know as to what he is doing, more particularly while in public services, more to be in duty-consciousness, when came forward to serve all the people alike unbiased. Hence, he or she in PUBLIC SERVICES ought to be committed , accountable and responsible OR-ELSE he/she should quit the public chair of authority, which the “People’s Government” should ensure to the common people. IMAGE OF THE JUDICIARY ” Known as the face of Justice, DETERIORATING, IN THE PUBLIC EYES ON ACCOUNT OF THEY NOT LOOKING BACK SERIOUSLY, DESPITE FEEDBACKS IN PUBLIC DOMAIN IN THE GOOD SPIRIT OF SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE, IN QUALITY OF PUBLIC SERVICES RENDERED, OWING TO, UN-MONITORED CONDITION IN REALITY, TO THE PEOPLES WELFARE, AS “ PUBLIC SERVICES ” BUT INSTEAD, AGGRAVATING ONE JUDGE PRONOUNCEMENTS with ill-conceived knowledge without a holistic view which jeopardises the productivity and economy of the country holding up active working youths by the Mobile Courts (for Non Helmet wearing instead prioritising action on the erring speedster and drunken driving)OF PUBLIC ORDER FROM H.C. instead of a collective DIRECTIVE from SC or HC. View also many Administrative Lapses, going uncorrected for e.g. during this innovative age. The lawyers and advocates are the face and mirror of the litigants ‘ Case Status’, for Litigant’ s grievances. Litigants pay their respect or curse, for their attitude and services not when goes hand in gloves with their counterpart and cause damage to their clients case. Duty, Dignity and discipline be in place, in respecting the sacred Courts. The present day lawyers and advocates need to be more knowledgeable, than before with the flooding and explosion of valuable Information. Be well disciplined, during this innovative age and put forth professional challenges of competence, thereby competent Judges be in practice as well, maintaining the decency and decorum, of the office in Court, being held very high in human society. They should learn to command respect in the most dignified manner, caution before pronouncing judgement and or for public instructions, as single Judge, than hurting the sentiments of the individual litigants/public, having fear and love to God the almighty irrespective of religion, one above all, the creator of all. This will boost/enhance the due high respect for the JUDGES in Toto of JUDICIAL CLASS and the image of the judiciary in the eyes of the public.

    Peechulli Krishnan Chandran, General Secretary, Chennai Society For Fast Justice.

  3. Calls for structural integrity in our Armed Forces Tribunal, under so-called Indian Judiciary. Qualified Lawyers representing from JAG Dept. (rank of Capt. or Major) has no say(voice) when the Admn.Bench Member(Lt.Gen by rank) *though not a qualified lawyer dismisses the case out of EGO and ARROGANCE. This is the state of Judiciary after 68 years of Indian Independence. Neglection of discharge by a constituted Indian Army Medical Board belonging to the Government of India. Soldiers are therefore looked down upon by such high-ranking officers, placed with political influence, not on their suitability, but at random, leaving the soldiers at their mercy. Ill conceived Judges are therefore being judged for their unfairness and poor standards of professional competence, hence the litigants live with silent deaths of injustice.
    The need to follow “Code of Professional Ethics” applies to all professionals alike, to maintain the decency and decorum of office held. Why be scared of watch-dog when we do things right to our conscience and fear of the almighty god. No human has fallen from the sky. To err is human.

  4. Judicial process should not be used to harass litigants: HC – The Economic Times
    General Secretary, Chennai Society for Fast Justice (Regd.).

  5. The JAG Officer, on representation in courts and tribunals, needs to feel the pulse of the aggrieved litigant soldier, by understanding the realities ie. the pulse of the aggrieved soldier and be fair enough to CARE with human touch and not be carried away by rank of the presiding officer or the honourable bench members of he tribunal by their Ego or arrogance BUT to instil fair and fast justice.
    The Courts are made for the people at large and for the redressal of their disputes. It is also expected that the justice delivery system should be easily accessible to the citizens and justice should be delivered at the lowest possible cost. Therefore, the easy access, cheaper justice system and speedy decision are the best factors of any judicial system from the view point of the citizen”.2009 (4) Mh. L.J. 242. A single dishonest judge not only dishonors’ himself and disgraces his office but jeopardizes the integrity of the entire judicial system ” (Supreme Court of India). ”
    Judiciary is respected not on account of its power to legalize injustice on technical grounds, but because it is capable of removing injustice and is expected to do so.” A.I.R. 1987 SC 1353. Where rule of law is strong, people uphold the law not out of fear but because they have a stake in its effectiveness”.
    Dr.Chandran Peechulli, Ph.D., F.I.E.(India), C.Eng., LLB., PgDLL., LL.M., **** Speciaised in Labour, Industrial Relations and Administrative Law. General Secretary, Chennai Society for Fast Justice. Registered.

  6. Hence, one cannot digest “Judicial-Power” – be said as “Judge as God” but expected to be a Divine Structure.


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