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NJAC Challenge: Questionable Appointments!

Published on Thu, Jun 11,2015 | 08:06, Updated at Thu, Jun 11 at 08:06Source : 

By: Ashmit Kumar, CNBC TV18

The govt and the apex court today, again, stood eye to eye in the face-off over the judicial appointments commission.

The gloves were off today with the Government training its guns on the Collegium, citing "questionable" appointments to the higher judiciary. The Attorney General submitted a list of names in a sealed envelope to the Justice Khehar led bench, arguing that there had been cases where adverse comments by the Intelligence Bureau, questions by members of the Collegium and even reservations expressed by the President were overlooked to favor certain candidates.

Though exercising restraint and carefully avoiding naming any of the Judges, the Government’s counsel did make thinly veiled references.

The Attorney General argued that in one instance a Former Chief Justice of India had pushed for the appointment of his sister as a Judge of the Calcutta HC, despite the candidate having been rejected by members of the Collegium. Citing another instance, the Attorney General submitted that a former Supreme Court Judge often caused "embarrassment" to fellow judges due to her track record of coming late. Finally, Mukul Rohatgi also referred to "a former SC Judge, who now occupies a high post", claiming that his entire career features less than a hundred judgments.

Interestingly, one name that did feature was that of Madras HC Judge CS Karnan. Mukul Rohatgi argued that Justice Karnan had openly questioned the authority of the Chief Justice of Madras HC for over a year and a half. The AG argued that the Collegium had failed "to put its house in order" by not reprimanding him and taking suitable action. Senior Advocate KK Venugopal, arguing for the state of Madhya Pradesh, echoed the Goverment’s stance on the acts of Justice Karnan not inspiring any action.

The focus of the hearing will now shift to the thorny issue of the role of "eminent persons" as provided for, under the NJAC Act.


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