NJAC Current Affairs - 2020

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Collegium Recommends names of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recommended appointing Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna as judges of the Supreme Court.

The collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also comprises four senior-most judges of Supreme Court which includes Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Arun Mishra.

Three Judges Case and Collegium System

The Constitution of India under Article 124 and Article 217 prescribes the procedure for the appointment of judges of Supreme Court and High Court respectively. The articles state that the judges would be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts as the President of India may deem necessary.

The Collegium system for appointment of Judges emerged out of the three rulings of the Supreme Court which are collectively referred to as the Three Judges Case.

In the first judge case, S. P. Gupta vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had held that the word “consultation” in Article 124 and in Article 217  does not mean “concurrence” and the ultimate power would be vested with President.

In the Second judge case, Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association vs Union of India, the earlier judgment in the first judge case was overruled. It was said that in the event of a conflict between the President and the CJI with regard to appointments of Judges, the opinion of Chief Justice of India would have primacy, also would be determinative in the matter. It was in the second judge case the collegium system was instituted by the Supreme Court. For the appointment of judges of SC, the collegium would consist of CJI and two senior most judges and for the appointment of judges of HC, the collegium would consist of Chief justice of High court along with two senior-most judges of the High Court.

In the Third judge case under the special reference to the Supreme Court by the President of India, the Court upholding the judgment of the Second Judge expanded the collegium to include four senior-most judges along with the chief justice.


The Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 sought to replace the Collegium system with the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). But the Supreme Court declared the amendment act as unconstitutional with a majority 4-1 judgment. This has been now referred to as Fourth judge case.

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Supreme Court declares NJAC unconstitutional

Supreme Court has declared National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 and 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 unconstitutional and void.

Ruling in this regard was given by five-judge Constitutional Bench of SC headed by Justice J S Khehar on a petition were filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and others.

SC bench has held that Collegium system will remain operative which was established by its earlier ruling of in 1993 for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

The petitions had challenged the new law on the selection and appointment of judges mentioning that it is unconstitutional and aimed at hurting the independence of judiciary.


  • The parliament had unanimously passed the NJAC Act, 2014 and the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act. Both acts were meant to replace the two-decade old collegium system of judges appointing judges in higher judiciary.
  • These Acts were passed in order to bring transparency in appointment of Judges and give executive i.e. elected public representatives a role in the appointment process.
  • The Constitutional Amendment Act was then ratified by 20 State Assemblies and had received the Presidential assent on 31 December 2014 and became effective from April 2015.
  • Composition: The NJAC was supposed to have 6 members, three from Judiciary comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) as its Chairperson and ex officio member and 2 other senior most judges of SC. While, other three members were Union Minister of Law and Justice (ex-officio) and 2 eminent persons.

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