Law Minister defends scrapped law on judges’ appointment

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday defended the NJAC Act, saying Constitution maker B.R. Ambedkar had said the power to appoint judges should not be in one hand.

During a discussion in ‘Agenda Aajtak’ event, Prasad said that the government did not want to interfere in the judicial process, and it had accepted the Supreme Court’s ruling scrapping the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) Act.

“According to the Constitution, the President appoints the judges in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. However, Dr. Ambedkar has said during discussion on the Constitution that ‘we do not want to give right of appointment of judges to one hand, be it Prime Minister, Council of Ministers or the Supreme Court’,” Prasad said.

Prasad said: “Both Houses of Parliament had passed the NJAC Act and half of the state assemblies had supported it. Even (former CJI) J.S. Verma had found discrepancies in the Collagium system. But, the Supreme Court reversed it.”

“Yet, we accepted the decision. Yes, we have reservation about the decisions and there is nothing wrong in criticising it,” Prasad said.

Prasad added that the Union Law and Home Ministers were part of the appointment process from 1950 to 1993.