A proposal will be considered by the Cabinet today for creating the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), scrapping the current system of appointing judges through the collegiums system of Supreme Court and High Court judges.
The proposal provides for a six-member JAC headed by the Chief Justice of India with the law minister and the Opposition leader and two jurists as other members.
The proposal, which replaces the present system of Collegium appointing judges, will require a Constitutional amendment. The Collegium is a five-member body, headed by the CJI, and includes four other senior most judges. The proposal has been hanging fire for several years because of strong resistance by the judiciary.
“One view has been that the Leader of the Opposition should be made a member of the JAC. This suggestion could be considered,” says the Cabinet note circulated by the law ministry. The secretary in the department of Justice will be the panel’s convener.
The move would entail amendments to Articles 124, 217, 222 and 231 of the Constitution and insertion of Article 124A.
The views of the governors, CMs and respective chief justices of the 24 High Courts will be elicited in appointing judges for HCs.
The proposed body will recommend appointment of judges of the SC and chief justices and judges of the HCs. The panel will also recommend transfer of chief justice and judges of HCs.