NEW DELHI: The collegium system of appointing judges once again came under sharp criticism in Parliament on Tuesday, with several MPs pitching for a fresh law to appoint judges. The government, however, remained non-committal on a fresh law, and said it needed broader political consensus.
“The polity will have to take a call. I cannot make a commitment today,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the Rajya Sabha responding to a calling attention motion on the impasse between the judiciary and the legislature. “We have accepted the judgment regardless of our reservations,” he added.Opposition members participating in the debate appeared agitated over the Supreme Court verdict which struck down the NJAC Act, and called the ruling an attempt to undermine Parliament. The Supreme Court in October last year termed the National Judicial Appointments Commission “unconstitutional” and held that the presence of the Law Minister and two members on the NJAC panel could affect the judiciary’s independence.
During the debate, MPs from SP, BSP and CPI demanded equal representation of judges from the Dalits, SC and ST, and alleged people from weaker sections were not getting fair justice.