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  • Recently, in favour of reintroduction of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill has been voiced in Lok Sabha.
  • The NJAC Act, 2014 was enacted by the Narendra Modi government to regulate the procedure to be followed the NJAC for recommending names for appointment as Chief Justice of India and other judges of Supreme Court and Chief Justices and judges of High Courts and for their transfers.
  • However, in October 2015, Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional an amendment to the Constitution establishing the NJAC.

About NJAC and the Act:

  • NJAC is a body responsible for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary in India. NJAC Bill sought to replace the collegium system of appointing the judges of Supreme Court and High Courts with judicial appointments commission wherein the executive will have a say in appointing the judges.
  • A new article, Article 124A, (which provides for the composition of the NJAC) was to be inserted into the Constitution.
  • The Bill provided for the procedure to be followed by the NJAC for recommending persons for appointment as Chief Justice of India and other Judges of the Supreme Court (SC), and Chief Justice and other Judges of High Courts (HC).

According to the bill the commission will consist of the following members:

  • Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
  • Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio
  • The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio
  • Two eminent persons (to be nominated by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister of India and the Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha), provided that of the two eminent persons, one person would be from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes or OBC or minority communities or a woman.
  • The eminent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for re-nomination."