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Aam Aadmi Party opposes NJAC Bill; MP Raghav Chadha calls it 'Constitutional Impossibility'

December 09, 2022 07:33 PM

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha rose to oppose introduction of a Private Member Bill on judicial appointments during a session on December 9

Judiciary only independent institution left in the country; unconstitutional to allow political interference in it: Raghav Chadha

Collegium system functioning smoothly, scope for improvement but not for any political interference: Raghav Chadha

Central Government should in no manner be let to control appoint of judges Raghav Chadha

Chandigarh/NEW DELHI, 9th December  

The Aam Aadmi Party strongly opposed the NJAC Bill on Friday. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Shri Raghav Chadha registered the party's opposition for the bill in the upper house calling it a 'Constitutional Impossibility'. Shri Raghav Chadha rose to oppose the introduction of MP Shri Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya's Private Member Bill on judicial appointments during a session of the parliament.

The bill titled The National Judicial Commision Bill, 2022 was introduced by Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya during Private Member's Business in the Upper House. The objective of the Bill was to regulate the procedure to be followed by the National Judicial Commission for recommending persons for appointment judges of the higher judiciary.

Shri Raghav Chadha stated, "Judiciary is the only independent institution left in the country; harmful to allow political influence over it. Collegium system functioning smoothly, scope for improvement but not for any political interference. The Central Government should in no manner be allowed to control the appointment of judiciary."

Opposing the Bill, Raghav Chadha said, "The concept of National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) came thrice in the Supreme Court in 1993, 1998, and 2016. Every time, the Supreme Court prioritised the independence of the judiciary and rejected the idea of NJAC. I am here to oppose this bill."

He further said, "I think we are attempting to do a constitutional impossibility. The current collegium system of appointment of judges is functioning smoothly. There could be a scope of improvement, which could be explored after discussions and dialogue with the judiciary."

Concluding his speech, he said, "We should not give any handle to the Central Government that they could interfere with the judiciary and appointment of judges. As they do in the case of Directors of the CBI and the ED, they want to do the same with appointment of judges."

Later, speaking to the media, he said, “The existing procedure of appointment of judges that is the collegium system in the past 30 years has done great. Though there could be a scope of improvement, but, to discard it and politically interfere in the appointment of judges should not happen at all. NJAC has been thrice rejected by the Supreme Court. Judicial independence is part of the basic structure of our constitution. I would like to say that no bill should come up that gives the government a handle to interfere in the appointment of judges. In these times, the only push back that the government is receiving is from the judiciary. Higher judiciary is the only impartial institution left in the country today. The intentions of the government are very clear - they want to appoint judges of the higher judiciary in the same manner as they appoint Directors of CBI and ED, which is against the basic structure of the constitution.”

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