As the UPA government prepares to change the two-decade-old collegium system under which judges appoint Supreme Court and high court judges, bar leaders on Saturday demanded that their representatives be included in the proposed Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).
Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, 12 chairmen of various state bar councils and 10 presidents of high court bar associations met Union law minister Kapil Sibal and pressed for direct involvement of the elected bar. “The bar leaders expressed their unanimous view that they are not in favour of the proposed JAC in its present form,” BCI spokesperson S Prabhakaran said.
The JAC bill was to come up for discussion before the union cabinet on Thursday but it could not be taken up as Sibal was indisposed. The draft bill proposes a six-member JAC to be headed by the Chief Justice of India. The law minister, leader of the opposition in one of the Houses of Parliament, two senior Supreme Court judges and an eminent jurist to be nominated by the President, will be its members.