The Supreme Court pronounces on Friday its verdict on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) that replaced the two-decade-old collegium system of appointing judges in the higher judiciary.
A five-judge bench headed by Justice JS Khehar, which reserved its judgment on July 15 after arguments on the validity of the 99th Constitutional amendment and the NJAC Act, will pronounce the verdict at 10.30am.
Under the new law, the Chief Justice of India, two senior-most SC judges, the Union law minister and two eminent persons are to constitute the NJAC. The eminent persons will be nominated by a committee comprising the CJI, Prime Minister and leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, or the leader of the single largest opposition party in the House where there is no such LoP.
Of the two eminent persons, one will be from the SC/ST/OBCs, minority communities, or a woman.
The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and the Supreme Court Bar Association and other petitioners had contended the new system was unconstitutional as it undermined the independence of the judiciary.
However, the Centre had defended the introduction of the new law saying that the two-decade-old collegium system where judges appointed judges was not free from defects and got the support of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
The measure was also supported by 20 state governments which ratified the NJAC Act and the constitutional amendment.