Judicial appointments commission Sibal's biggest priority

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Ahead of the general elections next year, Law Minister Kapil Sibal Friday said his biggest priority was to get the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill passed.

"When I introduced this bill, I had a discussion with all political parties. We called for an all-party meet. Not only that, I discussed this with the leaders of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha," he said in an interactive session at Indian Women's Press Corps here.

The bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha Aug 29 and subsequently referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, aims at establishing a new mechanism to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and 24 high courts in the country.

Next on the minister's priority list will be to raise the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years so that the rat race among high court judges to get a Supreme Court post ends.

Sibal, who holds concurrent charge of the information technology and communications portfolio, said that in the IT and communications field, he plans to have post banks in rural areas to help people.

In a post bank, a post office will provide banking services and bring in financial inclusion.

Sibal also hoped that the next spectrum auction will not just be successful but phenomenally successful. "We should get revenue enough to help the finance ministry," he added.

The minister is also keen to move the Fibre Optic Network Policy so that 250,000 villages across India could be connected through fibre network.

Sibal expects the merger and acquisition policy in the telecom sector to be in place by Oct 15.

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