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Moily backs reforms on judges’ appointment

Former CJI J S Verma had suggested replacing the collegium system with a NJC.

A day after former Chief Justice of India J S Verma said the present collegium system for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the high courts needed changes,the government said on Monday it supported his views. It also indicated that the Law Ministry was already working on some steps to deal with the issue. In an interview,Verma had suggested replacing the collegium system with a National Judicial Commission (NJC) to ensure greater transparency.

“I totally agree with him about transparency and accountability of judiciary. That’s what we are also addressing,” Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters here. He,however,refused to divulge details of the steps his ministry was taking to improve the appointment system,which was proposed by an SC bench,of which Verma was a part in 1993.

To a question on whether the government was planning an alternative to the present system of appointing judges,Moily said: “I don’t say replacing collegium system…we are working on a new system which takes care of accountability and transparency in judiciary so that merited judges come into judiciary. That (NJC) would act as a check no doubt and I think the time has come when more checks and balances are required.”

On the issue of Sunday’s verbal attack on the government by yoga guru Ramdev,Moily termed it a “yoga exercise”. He also questioned Ramdev’s claim that Rs 2 lakh crore of black money had been stashed in foreign banks.

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“That is one of his yoga exercises. Nothing much can be attributed to it. If he can tell the government how he derived the figure (Rs 2 lakh crore),we will definitely take action,” Moily said.

First published on: 28-06-2011 at 03:23:45 am
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