SC dismisses plea seeking review of 2015 verdict on NJAC Act, notes 470-day delay in filing of petition

Asian News International
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, which was in suspended animation, was abruptly dissolved by the governor on 21 November, hours after the People's Democratic Party (PDP) staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival National Conference and the Congress.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking review of its 2015 verdict striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, which had led to the revival of the collegium system for appointment of judges.

A five-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, dismissed the review petition saying there was no merit in the plea. "We have carefully gone through the review petition and the connected papers. We do not find any merit in the same," the bench also comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph, AM Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan said.

The apex court also noted that "there was a delay of 470 days in filing the review petition for which no satisfactory explanation has been offered".

The court also rejected an additional application seeking hearing of the review petition in an open court. As per the norm, a review petition at the Supreme Court is heard in the judges' chamber and not open to the public.

The NJAC was a proposed body, which would have been responsible for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary.

The NJAC Act and the Constitutional Amendment Act came into force from 13 April, 2015. But the top court on 16 October, 2015, struck down the NJAC Act. The verdict brought back the primacy of the collegium system of judges appointing judges.

The review petition against the 2015 verdict was filed by National Lawyers Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms. The petitioner has contended that the 2015 verdict of the top court was "unconstitutional and void".

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