Keen to dispense with the current collegium system to appoint judges, the BJP-led government will on Monday hold consultation with jurists and former judges on the proposed Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) that would replace the present practice of judges appointing judges.
Law ministry sources said the minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, will meet eminent people from the field of law to know their views. Law commission chairperson justice AP Shah, a strong critic of the collegium system, too would interact with the minister.
The minister is also likely to discuss the judicial standards and accountability bill that provides for a time-bound investigation against sitting judges facing charges of corruption and misconduct. The bill lapsed with the end of 15th Lok Sabha.
The government has already written to major political parties seeking their support to its proposal to amend the constitution to move to the alternative appointment procedure.
The decision to fast-track the bill comes in the wake SC judge justice Markandey Katju’s disclosure of how the previous UPA regime had nudged the then Supreme Court collegium to recommend extension of a judge, allegedly “corrupt” and “tainted”
Justice Katju’s revelation came subsequent to a controversy generated by the Centre’s decision to return SC collegium’s recommendation to elevate senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as the top court’s judge. Subramanium played a vital role in a case before SC that ordered CBI to probe the fake Sohrabuddin encounter allegedly involving BJP president Amit Shah and senior Gujarat IPS officers.