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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Parliament fails to clear Bill for new system of appointing judges

PTI  New Delhi, September 07, 2013
First Published: 21:04 IST(7/9/2013) | Last Updated: 21:10 IST(7/9/2013)

The collegium system of appointment of judges, which the government wants to scrap, is likely to stay for the time being as Parliament could not pass a Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Monsoon Session to put in place a new mechanism giving the Executive a say in the matter.

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While the Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, it could not be taken up in Lok Sabha which adjourned sine die last night.

After any Constitutional Amendment Bill gets Parliamentary nod, it is sent to all the states and 50% of the state legislatures have to ratify it. The process could take up to eight months.

After ratification, the government sends it to the President for his approval.

Law minister Kapil Sibal had recently introduced in Rajya Sabha an enabling bill, the Constitution (120th) Amendment Bill, and the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013, which defines the establishment of the proposed body to appoint judges.

The government and the Opposition were united in seeking to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to higher courts, saying it was essential to restore the delicate balance of power which has been disturbed.

The Bill was passed on Thursday amidst a walkout by BJP which wanted both Bills to be referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The government wanted the Constitutional amendment Bill to be passed and was willing to send the main Bill ? the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill ? to the standing committee.

The Opposition, led by BJP, on Saturday created an uproar in Rajya Sabha over the government's failure to move the Bill in the Lower House.

Sibal said he was "deeply anguished by the fact that the Constitutional Amendment Bill could not be taken up by Lok Sabha."


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