New Delhi: With Chief Justice of India H L Dattu refusing to be part of a committee to nominate two people to the NJAC, government on Thursday indicated that it will not go ahead with the proposed meeting of the panel as it would mean encroaching upon the independence of judiciary.
“I am making it clear… our government certainly does not intend to encroach upon the independence of judiciary,” Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda told the Lok Sabha in reply to queries about National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
Responding to a volley of questions on creation of the new body to appoint judges to Supreme Court and the 24 High Courts, Gowda said the government is committed to establish the NJAC and has sought the help of the apex court.
“If government encroaches upon the independence of judiciary, our constitutional obligations will be overtaken,” the Minister said during Question Hour.
Asserting that the government is “not going back” on NJAC, Gowda said it would ensure the supremacy of Parliament.
“We will see that NJAC will come,” he noted.
Dattu has refused to participate in a three-member panel for selecting two eminent persons in the six-member NJAC.
The three-member panel comprises Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition/Leader of single largest Opposition Party in the Lower House, who were authorised to select and appoint two eminent persons in the six-member NJAC for appointment of judges to higher judiciary.
Government had planned to hold a meeting of the panel this week.
M Thambidurai, Deputy Speaker and AIADMK leader, asked why the NJAC is not going ahead with selection of eminent persons when two of the three members of the panel are willing to participate in the meeting.
Further, Thambidurai said setting up of NJAC was approved by the Parliament and government has also come out with the notification. What will happen if the Leader of Opposition refuses to attend the meeting, he wondered.
Noting that the NJAC matter is subjudice, Gowda said the government has sought help of the Supreme Court. “I cannot say beyond that,” he said.
BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said the NJAC issue has created a vaccum.
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