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Judges Appointment Tough new clause added

Judges Appointment Tough new clause added
Highlights

After several recent controversies, the government has added a stringent clause to the new process of appointing judges that it proposes to effect through legislation.

New Delhi: After several recent controversies, the government has added a stringent clause to the new process of appointing judges that it proposes to effect through legislation.
Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley at a meeting to discuss appointments in higher judiciary
It provides that an objection by any two of six panelists on a judicial commission that will select High Court and the Supreme Court judges, will count as a veto.

Members of the higher judiciary are currently picked by a collegium of five of the country's senior-most judges. The Narendra Modi government wants to hasten the process of changing the law to replace the collegium system with a six-member national judicial appointments commission to select the judges instead.

The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, introduced by the previous Manmohan Singh government last year, sets up the commission, which will be headed by the Chief Justice of India, and will have as its members two judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Law Minister and two eminent jurists. The jurists will be appointed by a panel comprising of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the Opposition (LoP), and in case there is no Leader of the Opposition, the leader of single largest party will be included in the panel.

The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in September last year. It was pending in the Lower House and lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in February.

The Modi government had asked political parties to suggest changes in the proposed new bill. The new inclusions could be discussed by the Union Cabinet at its meeting.

The proposed change of system has been a cause of friction between the judiciary and the executive.

When the government asked the Supreme Court collegium to reconsider the case of lawyer Gopal Subramanium for a judge's post recently, Chief Justice of India RM Lodha had voiced displeasure.

His criticism was seen as a setback to the government's plan to move the Judicial Commission Bill.

But the plan found new impetus after the allegation by Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju last month that three former Supreme Court Chief Justices had made "improper compromises'' to grant extensions to an additional judge of the Madras High Court.

SC refuses to give early hearing against HC judge
New Delhi: The Supreme Court refused to give an urgent hearing on PIL seeking judicial inquiry into a complaint of a woman judge of Gwalior who accused a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge of sexually harassing her.

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha questioned the locus of the petitioner, a lawyer, in the case and said that matter would be taken up in due course when it is listed for hearing.

The petitioner, M L Sharma sought lodging of an FIR and probe against the High Court judge for allegedly harassing a Additional District and Session judge of Gwaliar who quit judicial service.

The PIL also sought suspension of the judge of the Gwalior bench of the high court, who had allegedly sexually harassed the woman judge, during the pendency of the inquiry.

"To appoint a judicial inquiry by this court itself consisting justices of the Supreme Court in the impugned scenario for further action/prosecution in accordance of law /IPC as well as within the directions issued in the Vishakha judgement to provide complete justice to the petitioner," the petition said.

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