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Bar council says bill on judges’ appointment is an ‘affront’


HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 04, 2013

Bar council of India (BCI) on Saturday demanded immediate withdrawal of national judicial appointment commission bill for looking into appointment and transfer of judges terming it an “affront on independence of judiciary”.

The demand from country’s apex lawyers’ body comes a week before the Union cabinet is likely to take up the draft bill for discussion.

At a demonstration held at the Rajghat, leaders of BCI and state bar councils said they will not brook any outside interference into the affairs of the judiciary.” We are totally against the move because in the process of appointment of judges, we do not want any interference from any outsider, including the executive,” BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said.

The bill proposes formation of a commission comprising the Law Minister and a member nominated by Union Executive, Leader of Opposition, apart from the Chief Justice of India and two Supreme Court judges, to replace the present collegium system. The proposed commission would also look into appointment of judges, their transfers and cases of misconduct against them.

The BCI demanded that the bill be dropped as it is being sought to be implemented “hastily” and it will also take away the independence of judiciary.

“We do not say existing collegium does not have demerits. But inserting outsiders in the form of  executive would be disastrous for the country and the ordinary litigants,” Mishra said. He added that the executive and proposed members could act in an advisory capacity.