Government seems to be in no hurry to bring into force a law which would end the over two-decade-long collegium system of appointment of judges and would await the outcome of proceedings in the Supreme Court on Wednesday before taking a final call.
While referring the petitions challenging the validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act which will scrap the collegium system to a larger bench, the Supreme Court had last week refused to stay the operationalisation of the law.
Government soon moved into action to take a decision on when, or not to notify, the new law.
But as the Supreme Court decided that a five-judge bench would start hearing the bunch of petitions from April 15, the government has now decided to take a call on the sensitive issue on Wednesday.
“The proceedings on April 15 will guide the government’s decision on when to notify the Act…What if the SC stays the operationalisation of the law,” said a senior government functionary.
He said as of today, the thinking within the government is to wait for the decision of the larger bench. “April 15 is not far away. The aim of the government is to implement the Act passed by Parliament in a flawless manner. There is no need to confront the Judiciary on this issue at this stage,” he said.
The new law was signed into an Act by President Pranab Mukherjee on December 31, 2014.
Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had said recently that the government would like to have a “united show” in running the new body to recommend appointment and transfer of Supreme Court and High Court judges with the judiciary as it will be headed by the Chief Justice of India.
He said from nominating two eminent persons to the NJAC to ratifying the rules, the CJI has an important role.