The Supreme Court on Thursday sought to know the Centre’s stand on certain provisions of National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act on the selection of high court judges which opponents of the new system allege violate the federal structure.

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought to know the Centre’s stand on certain provisions of National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act on the selection of high court judges which opponents of the new system allege violate the federal structure.The provisions in the new law pertain to the appointment of the chief justice of High Court and also the NJAC while shortlisting a candidate as a judge of the High Court can seek his opinion.”Will this not destroy the federal structure,” a five- judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice JS Khehar wanted to know and asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar for an answer.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court asked the Solicitor General to address the issues after senior counsel Arvind Dattar, appearing for a lawyers’ body from Chennai, criticised Section 6(1) and Section 6(3) of the NJAC Act coupled with their requirement of “ability, merit and any other criteria of suitability”.He said new law on appointment of judges “destroys” the independence of judiciary as it defies the principle of separation of powers by bringing it under parliamentary control.”The creation of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), in the present form, would destroy independence of judiciary and also the principle of separation of powers.”From the constitutional control, the 99th amendment makes the judiciary under Parliamentary control,” the counsel for Service Bar Association of Madras High Court said. The bench, also comprising Justices J Chelameswar, M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Goel, said that the power to frame rules and regulation is delegated in the NJAC by the NJAC Act, 2014, passed by parliament.Datar opposed the NJAC saying that the new law was violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.

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Supreme Court wants to know whether NJAC provisions violate Constitution