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Rajya Sabha nod to bill on judges' appointments
Thursday September 5, 2013 11:40 PM, IANS

The Rajya Sabha Thursday passed the constitutional amendment bill that seeks to create a judicial appointments commission for making recommendations on appointments in the higher judiciary.

The Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill bill was passed after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies staged a walkout.

Earlier, while replying to the debate on the bill, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said that the government wanted a participative process with the judiciary so that the right kind of people were appointed in higher judiciary.

"We in the government intend to improve the system. We are not here to interfere but to make it more participative," Sibal said.

He said it had been agreed to send the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013, which is an enabling legislation to implement the constitution amendment bill, to the standing committee.

Sibal said the bill would enable equal participation of judiciary and executive in appointment of judges in higher judiciary and make the system of appointments more transparent.

Ram Jethmalani, who has been expelled from the BJP, opposed the constitution amendment bill and followed the BJP in the walk out.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley strongly urged the government to get the constitutional amendment bill and the judicial appointments commission bill passed simultaneously as there was a possibility of a hiatus if only one bill was passed.

He said the bills should be passed after all stakeholders participated in discussions of standing committee.

Not satisfied with the minister's reply that he will ensure that there was no hiatus, the BJP and its allies including the Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena staged a walkout.

Earlier, several members found faults with the collegium system of appointments of judges and blamed the judiciary for slow disposal of cases.

They said that justice had become very expensive for common man due to high cost of litigation.

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