In what comes as a clear indication of the NDA regime’s readiness to bring in a legislation in the current session of Parliament to put an end to the existing collegium system of appointing judges in the Supreme Court and high courts, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will on Monday hold consultations with former Chief Justices of India, top jurists and other prominent names in this field over the judicial reforms, especially the proposed legislation to set up a national judicial commission and the judicial Standards and Accountability Bill.
Minister of Defence and Finance Arun Jaitley will also attend the conference in his capacity as an eminent lawyer and so will Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar.
The move comes in the backdrop of a sling of controversies surrounding judicial appointments, including the one over the proposal to appoint Gopal Subramanium as a Supreme Court judge and former apex court judge Markandey Katju’s remarks about the appointment of a high court judge.
Differences between the executive and the judiciary surfaced after Chief Justice of India R M Lodha publicly questioned the government’s decision to segregate Subramanium’s name from a panel of four names recommended by the SC collegium as judges to the apex court. Government sources, however, cited several instances when names recommended by the SC collegium had been sent back for reconsideration.
Amidst the raging debate, the NDA regime is said to be inclined to push the two above-said legislation. As the Congress had supported these bills when in power, the government sees no problem in getting Parliament’s approval of these bills.