NJAC was part of judicial reforms: Minister

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was part of judicial reforms which was exercised after deep consideration.

“In our view this exercise was done after deep consideration of more than 20 years which was part of judicial reforms. We will go through the judgement and come out with a structured response,” Prasad told reporters.

He was speaking after the Supreme Court struck down the constitution’s 99th amendment and the NJAC Act as unconstitutional, restoring the collegium system for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

“Various commissions headed by eminent judges, including Administrative Reforms Commission and different parliamentary committees had recommended NJAC,” said the communication minister, who is a lawyer by profession and a former law minister.

“Even former chief justice J.S. Verma had publicly raised misgivings on the working of the collegium system and had suggested a serious think,” he added.

Prasad said the NJAC bill was brought to parliament in a “truly remarkable scenario”.

“Our government brought about NJAC bill in a truly remarkable scenario in the country.

“There was complete political unanimity. The Lok Sabha passed it without a single dissent and in the Rajya Sabha there was only a single walkout.

“Twenty legislatures of the states unanimously approved it despite the continuous divide in the politics of India,” he said.

Prasad refused to see Friday’s ruling as a setback to the government.

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