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Govt,BJP close ranks to scrap collegium

Govt,BJP hint at consensus over National Judicial Commission

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2013 3:23:30 am

Less than a fortnight after Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam asserted that the collegium system to appoint judges to higher judiciary was “working well”,the government and the opposition BJP Monday hinted at a consensus on a proposal to scrap the two-decade-old system.

The UPA government has proposed to replace the collegium with a National Judicial Commission (NJC) that would give it greater say in the appointment.

Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley discussed the proposed commission with law minister Kapil Sibal Monday.

“I have always been in support of the National Judicial Commission and I have made some suggestions to Sibal. It is for the government to consider them. I can actually foresee a larger consensus evolving,subject to a broader agreement on the composition and nature of NJC’s functioning,” Jaitley said after the meeting.

Sibal seconded him. “In principle,subject of course to my government’s agreement,I agree with what he has suggested and I am going to incorporate those suggestions and circulate it to the Cabinet in a week or so,” he said.

Jaitley’s suggestions,sources said,included the one to include the leader of the opposition in the proposed NJC. The NJC proposed in a cabinet note by Sibal’s predecessor Ashwani Kumar includes six members: the Chief Justice as the head,the law minister,two judges of the Supreme Court and two eminent jurists nominated by the President.

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