Judicial Appointments Conundrum Pre-NJAC Verdict

Government can’t be out of NJAC, says SC

  1. The SC dismissed the idea of totally removing government participation in the appointment process under the NJAC.
  2. Why? Because there is no way other than banking on the government machinery to gather credible intelligence inputs on persons considered for judicial appointments.

The debate was triggered by counsel Anil Divan, who said the NJAC Act was flawed as the commission would be totally dependent on inputs from government departments.

“But you have to trust someone. What if we remove the Executive from the appointment process? How will they [NJAC] get information? Only the government has the machinery to gather intelligence on the sensitivity, family, integrity, etc., of a person under consideration … This is the fact, whether you like it or not,” Justice J.S. Khehar, who heads the five-judge Constitution Bench, told Mr. Divan.

Another issue:

  1. The NJAC Act did not spell out the criteria to select “eminent persons”.
  2. We wonder if “eminence” in the NJAC Act was the same quality the government had found in a person chosen to head the Film and Television Institute of India.