The Government today notified the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 and the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 for bringing in a change in the existing system for appointment of Judges in Supreme Court and High Courts.

Two Bills titled ‘The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty First Amendment) Bill, 2014’ and ‘The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014’ were passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha on 13.08.2014 and Rajya Sabha on 14.08.2014 respectively. Subsequently these Bills were ratified by the required number of State legislatures before getting the President’s assent. The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty First Amendment) Bill, 2014 enacted as the Constitution (Ninety Ninth Amendment) Act and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 were published in Gazette of India on 31st December 2014.

Both the Acts were to come into force on such date as the Central Government would notify them in the Official Gazette.

Accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014, the Central Government appoints the 13th day of April, 2015, as the date on which the said Act shall come into force.

Further, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 (40 of 2014), the Central Government appoints the 13th day of April, 2015, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.

The Constitution (Ninety Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 provides for the composition and the functions of the proposed NJAC.

The Acts provide for a transparent and broad-based process of selection of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts by the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). The NJAC would be chaired by the Chief Justice of India as in the earlier collegium system. The NJAC membership would include two senior most Judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Minister of Law and Justice, two eminent persons to be nominated by a committee of the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Justice of India, and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People, or if there is no Leader of the Opposition, then the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in the House of the People. With a view to ensuring that the composition of the National Judicial Appointments Commission is inclusive, the Act provides that one of the eminent persons shall be nominated from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities or Women. The NJAC will frame its own regulations.

KSP/SRD
(Release ID :118224)

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