Tue. Mar 26th, 2019

Supreme Court refers NJAC Challenge to Constitution Bench – SCAORA v. UOI

Supreme Court has referred to Constitution Bench a batch of petitions challenging the validity of a constitutional amendment and the NJAC Act which aims to remove the existing collegium system of appointing judges.

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.13 OF 2015

 

 

SUPREME COURT ADVOCATES-ON-RECORD ASSOCIATION AND ANR      …PETITIONERS

versus

UNION OF INDIA                                                                                                              … RESPONDENT

 

with
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NOS.14, 18, 23, 24,70, 83, 108 & 124 OF 2015

with
TRANSFER PETITION (CIVIL) NO.391 OF 2015

O R D E R

 

ANIL R. DAVE, J.

  1. In this group of petitions, validity of the Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014 (hereinafter referred to as `the Act’) has been challenged. The challenge is on the ground that by virtue of the aforestated amendment and enactment of the Act, basic structure of the Constitution of India has been altered and therefore, they should be set aside.
  2. We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties and the parties appearing in-person at length.
  3. It has been mainly submitted for the petitioners that all these petitions should be referred to a Bench of Five Judges as per the provisions of Article 145(3) of the Constitution of India for the reason that substantial questions of law with regard to interpretation of the Constitution of India are involved in these petitions. It has been further submitted that till all these petitions are finally disposed of, by way of an interim relief it should be directed that the Act should not be brought into force and the present system with regard to appointment of Judges should be continued.
  4. Sum and substance of the submissions of the counsel opposing the petition is that all these petitions are premature for the reason that the Act has not come into force till today and till the Act comes into force, cause of action can not be said to have arisen. In the circumstances, according to the learned counsel, the petitions should be rejected.
  5. The learned counsel as well as parties in-person have relied upon several judgments to substantiate their cases.
  6. Looking at the facts of the case, we are of the view that these petitions involve substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India and therefore, we direct the Registry to place all the matters of this group before Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India so that they can be placed before a larger Bench for its consideration.
  7. As we are not deciding the cases on merits, we do not think it appropriate to discuss the submissions made by the learned counsel and the parties in-person.
  8. It would be open to the petitioners to make a prayer for interim relief before the larger bench as we do not think it appropriate to grant any interim relief at this stage.

………………………………………J.

(ANIL R. DAVE)

………………………………………J.

(J. CHELAMESWAR)

………………………………………J.

(MADAN B. LOKUR)

NEW DELHI,

APRIL 07, 2015.

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