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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Bill to change judge hiring system today

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 28, 2013
First Published: 23:19 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 02:06 IST(29/8/2013)

The government on Thursday is likely to introduce a key bill in Rajya Sabha to amend the Constitution and scrap the existing judges’ appointment system replacing it with a Judicial Appointments Commission, which will have a majority of non-judges.

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The new system that will replace the two decade old system of country’s top five judges (Supreme Court collegium) recommending names of individuals to be appointed as judges in the apex court and high courts is expected to be referred to a parliamentary panel for further scrutiny.

On the other hand, the Lok Sabha on Thursday is expected to take up the bill to amend the Right to Information Act for reversing the Central Information Commision’s order stating that political parties are covered under the RTI and should provide information to citizens.

The RTI (Amendment) Bill 2013 has already been introduced in the House by minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, V Narayanasamy.

“The minister (Narayanasamy) to move that the Bill to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005 be taken into consideration. Also to move that the Bill be passed,” states the Thursday’s list of business for the Lok Sabha.

 There was a possibility of this bill too being referred to a parliamentary panel for analysing the controversial amendment following strong objections by activists to dilute the RTI Act, but it is not clear what would be the final decision.

 There was unanimity in the all-party meeting called by the government earlier this month about both the bills expected to come up in the two Houses of Parliament on Thursday.

 Some parties, however, were of the view since the constitution amendment bill on changing the procedure for judges appointment was an important and sensitive subject, it should be sent to a parliamentary standing committee for an-depth study of the entire issue.

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