The central government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it would not make any fresh appointments of judges till the challenge on the validity of the National Judicial Appointments Committee Act was settled.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a five-judge constitutional bench headed by Justice JS Khehar that, in the event any fresh appointments needed to be made in the Supreme Court and high court judiciary, NJAC would move “fresh applications” before the court.
The apex court’s constitution bench recorded Rohatgi’s statement that the NJAC, which would be operationalised shortly, will only deal with the appointment of existing additional judges. Thereafter it said the matter would be heard again on 11 May.
The Centre’s assurance came when the court said if it decides to stay or set aside the NJAC Act then what will happen to those persons who, in the meantime, are appointed to the bench either in the apex court or in high courts.
During the hearing, the court also set about to decide on the fate of additional judges whose term may be coming to an end during the course of the hearing of the challenge to the NJAC.
Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Supreme Court Advocates on Record Associatio, which has challenged the Act, said that everybody knew that the Act will come into force.
“I am little worried that no attempt or special provision has been made (in the Act) with regard to interregnum... Something has to be done,” he said, adding that some respect should have been paid to the collegium.
The Attorney General then said that there is nothing to be done and he is “cognisant” of the issue and will take “full care” that no additional judge suffers due to the present situation.