Judicial Appointments Conundrum Post-NJAC Verdict

Judiciary vs government – background

  1. Ever since the Supreme Court (SC) struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment, the relations between judiciary and government has been sour
  2. As a compromise it was agreed that the government would draft a revised Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), intended for appointment of judges
  3. However, a clause in the revised draft MoP empowering the government to reject the names suggested by the SC Collegium was not acceptable to the judges
  4. The clause on the right to reject a recommendation on grounds of national security gives primacy to the government on appointment of judges
  5. Earlier practice: Government was bound to accept a recommendation by the Collegium (4 senior-most judges of the SC and the CJI) if a recommendation is sent again
  6. The revised MoP further provides that once the Centre has rejected a recommendation it will not be bound to reconsider it even after reiteration by the collegiums
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