The judge plays a vital role in Indian judiciary. They depict the law, assess the evidence presented, and control how hearings and trials unfold in the courts. Most importantly, the quality that all judges required are impartial decision-makers in the pursuit of justice. Most of us know what is known as an adversarial system of justice in which legal cases are contests between opposing parties, which ensures that evidence and legal arguments will be forcefully and fully presented. In India, the system of appointment of judges has gone through various changes in order to attain the most efficient judge for the judicial system. The SC plays such an important role in making changes.
The constitution was amended in the year 1976 by the 42nd amendment. The power of Judicial Review was put to an end and 2/3 majority was decreed for striking down any legislation. Although it was later abolished by the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978.
The judges were appointed on the basis of seniority instead of talents and merits. Also, there were major issues of transparency relating to the appointments and transfers of judges. The 98th Amendment Bill was introduced in the Loksabha in the year 2003 seeking to create a National Judicial Commission.
The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013 was introduced in Rajyasabha but the bill was not effective and failed to become a law. At last, the National Judicial Appointments Commission was introduced in the 121st Amendment Bill of the constitution in 2014 which was finally established in the Constitution Act. Together with the Constitutional Amendment Act the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 was also after passed by the Rajyasabha and Lok Sabha and also consented by the President on 31st December 2014.
The following are procedures laid down for the selection of judges of the higher judiciary. The President appoints judges of the Supreme court and High court on the recommendations made by the National Judicial Appointments Commission.’ Clause 2 of Article 124 and Clause 1 of article 217 of the Constitution on India provides the power to the President to make such appointments. The National Judicial Appointments Commission consists two other senior judges of Supreme Court, the Union Minister in charge of law and justice, CJI, two eminent members nominated by the committee consisting of Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha.
One of the important persons shall be nominated amongst the persons belonging to the SC, ST, Other backward class, Minorities or Women. These prominent persons shall be nominated for a period of three years and are not eligible for renomination.
The Procedure for selection of Supreme Court Judges is stated here.-As per defined in section 5 of The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014:
The National Judicial Appointments Commission shall recommend the senior most judge of the Supreme Court for the appointment as the Chief Justice of India provided he is fit to hold the office. Other judges of Supreme Court other than CJI are appointed on the recommendation of NJAC on the basis of ability, merits and any other criteria of suitability if such person is eligible to be appointed as such under Clause 3 of Article 124 of the Constitution of India
“A person shall be qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court if he is a citizen of India and (a) has been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession. (b) has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession. (c) is, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
The Procedure for selection of High Court judges is stated here. Every Judge of a HC shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after discussion with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State and in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court, and in the case of an additional or acting judge, as mentioned in article 224, and in any other case, until he attains the age of sixty-two years
(a) By writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office;
(b) A judge may be removed from his office by the President in the manner provided in clause (4) of article 124 for the removal of a Judge of the Supreme Court;
(c) The office of a Judge shall be vacated by his being appointed by the President to be a Judge of the Supreme Court or by his being transferred by the President to any other High Court within the territory of India.
(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a judge of a High Court only if he/she is a citizen of India and-
(a) Has for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India; or
(b) Has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in successionYou can refer to lawyers in India for more information.
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