In an unprecedented move, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India which had quashed the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act 2014 and NJAC Act, 2014, has now invited suggestions from all those who desire, to improve the ‘collegium system’ of judicial appointments. Those interested to make their valuable suggestions can send the same to the following email ids by 5 pm on November 13, 2015:
- firstname.lastname@example.org or
The suggestions may be made in the following four categories:
- Transparency in the process,
- A Secretariat for the collegium,
- Minimum Eligibility Criteria for the prospective judges, and
- Dealing with the Complaints against the prospective appointments.
Court had earlier on November 3, asked the petitioners and the respondents in the batch matter which successfully challenged the constitutionality of the NJAC, to submit their suggestions to the bench. Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar and ASG Pinky Anand were requested to compile and submit the same to the Court on November 5. [Read the suggestions complied by Arvind P Datar and ASG Pinky Anand]
On November 5, when the matter was called for hearing, a number of lawyers sought further time to submit their suggestions. Further the Chairperson of the Bar Council of India (BCI) also requested that BCI being the the apex body of all the State Bar Councils, be permitted to gather suggestions from all stake holders, and submit such of the suggestions as it approves, for consideration by the Court.
Considering the requests from several corners, Court ordered:
[all] those who desire to make suggestions may do so directly, on the website of the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, New Delhi. Suggestions received by 17.00 hours on 13.11.2015 shall be entertained. No further suggestions will be entertained. All such suggestions will be forwarded by the Department of Justice to the learned counsel who had assisted this Court in the previous compilation, for incorporating additional suggestions in the earlier compilation, for consideration.
Court to hear on the suggestions for two days
The Constitution Bench will reconvene on November 18, 2015 when a hearing would be conducted on the suggestions made, for two days i.e. till November 19, 2015. Regarding the counsels who would take part in the hearing, Court ordered:
Hearing shall be limited to such of the counsel who are short-listed and allowed time by a Committee comprising of learned Attorney General for India, the Chairman, Bar Council of India, and Mr. Fali S. Nariman, learned Senior Advocate. No other counsel shall be heard.
Read Order here: