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National Judicial Appointments Commission Act Notified
Apr 16, 2015

The Government has notified the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 and the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014 for bringing in a change in the existing system for appointment of Judges in Supreme Court and High Courts.

  • Two Bills—The Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014 were passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha on 13 August 2014 and Rajya Sabha on the next day.

  • Subsequently these Bills were ratified by the required number of State legislatures before getting the President’s assent.

  • The Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014 enacted as the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 were published in Gazette of India on 31st December 2014.

  • Both the Acts were to come into force on such date as the Central Government would notify them in the Official Gazette.

  • Accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014, the Central Government notified it on 13 April, and the said Act shall come into force.

  • For National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 the Central Government notified it on 13 April, 2015, and the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.

  • The Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014 provides for the composition and the functions of the proposed NJAC.

  • The Acts provide for a transparent and broad-based process of selection of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts by the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).

  • The NJAC would be chaired by the Chief Justice of India as in the earlier collegium system.

  • The NJAC membership would include two senior most Judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Minister of Law and Justice, two eminent persons to be nominated by a committee of the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Justice of India, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, or if there is no Leader of the Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party.

  • With a view to ensuring that the composition of the National Judicial Appointments Commission is inclusive, the Act provides that one of the eminent persons shall be nominated from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities or Women.

  • The NJAC will frame its own regulations.

  • The NJAC seeks to replace the two-decade old collegium system of appointing judges.

It is to be noted that on 7 April the Supreme Court referred the matter concerning the NJAC Act to a larger constitutional bench. The petitioners challenging the NJAC had contended that NJAC Act could not have been passed in August 2014 as there was no supporting provision in the constitution.


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