New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Saturday dismissed a plea seeking review of its 2015 verdict striking down the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) Act which had brought back the collegium system for appointment of judges. Headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, a five-judge bench said that the petition was dismissed on the grounds of delay and said there was no merit in it as well. Also Read - Delhi-NCR Pollution News: SC Appoints Ex-judge Madan Lokur as One-man Panel to Monitor Stubble Burning
“There is a delay of 470 days in filing the present review petition for which no satisfactory explanation has been offered. The review petition is liable to be dismissed on the grounds of delay alone,” the court said in its order. (All you need to know about NJAC Act ) Also Read - 'Wife Entitled to Stay at Her in-Laws' House': Supreme Court Revises Rules Under Domestic Violence Act
“Even otherwise, we have carefully gone through the review petition and the connected papers. We do not find any merit in the same,” the five-judge bench, which also comprised justices Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph, AM Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan, said. Also Read - 'Common Man's Diwali in Your Hands': Supreme Court Tells Centre to Enforce Interest Waiver on Loans by Nov 2
The apex court had on October 16, 2015 struck down the ambitious NJAC Act, 2014 to replace the 22-year-old collegium system of judges appointing judges. While four out of the five judges of the constitution bench had held as unconstitutional and void both the NJAC Act and the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act 2014, Justice J Chelameswar had upheld the validity of the constitution amendment law.
“The system of appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court and Chief Justices and Judges to the High Courts, and transfer of Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts from one High Court to another, as existing prior to the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014 (called the “collegium system”), is declared to be operative,” the apex court had said.
The NJAC was perceived by some in the legal fraternity as an attempt to interfere with the independence of judiciary.
(With inputs from agencies)