Rajya Sabha passes Constitutional Amendment Bill

New Delhi, Sept 5 (ANI): The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill paving way for the creation of a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to replace the present collegium system to appoint judges to higher courts, amid high drama with BJP staging a walk out.

According to reports, BJP pushed for referring the Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill, to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on law failed and it was passed by 131 votes in favour and one against.

BJP supported scrapping of the collegium system and replacing it with JAC and walked out as its voice was not heard after arguments between Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal and Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley.

The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013 which defines the establishment of the proposed body was referred to the Standing Committee.

The bill, which entails Constitutional amendment, seeks to set up a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to recommend appointment and transfer of Supreme Court and High Court judges.

The JAC Bill states that the JAC will make the participants in the selection accountable and introduce "transparency" in the selection process.

With the creation of the proposed body, the Executive seeks to have a say in appointment of members to the higher judiciary.

The Bill seeks to set up a panel headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to appoint and transfer senior judges.

The other members of the proposed Commission would be two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister, two eminent persons as members and Secretary (Justice) in the Law Ministry as Convener. (ANI)

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