The hearing on validity of legislations which would replace the two-decade-old collegium system on appointement of judges today commenced in the Supreme Court with the Centre “vigorously” opposing pleas to stay notifications of the laws criticised for allegedly taking away the independence of the judiciary.
“I am vigrously contesting the applications for stay. How can the will of Parliament be not notified?” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a three-judge bench headed by Justice A R Dave which also heard arguments by senior advocates Fali Nariman and Anil Divan who alleged that National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 would take away and knock down the independence of judiciary.
Rohatgi countered their contention by saying that “ultimately sunlight is the best disinfectant and the new system will strengthen the system rather weakening it” and “no system is good for ever and things change”.
Terming the apprehension of other side as “alarmist”, he said “there was no basis to say that executive will gang up”.
Nariman stressed that fait accompli should not be allowed to take place and order should be passed to maintain status quo by referring the matter before a five-judge constitution bench otherwise the entire exercise would become a “dodo”.
His view was shared by Divan who said the legislative exercise undertaken to replace the collegium system not only reduces and overrides judicial voice but it is drowned and it looks like an irreversible situation.