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Appointment of judges function of executive: Parl committee

Amid the tussle between the government and the Supreme Court over judicial appointments, a Parliamentary committee on Thursday said appointment of judges to the higher judiciary is essentially the function of executive, and asked the government to take appropriate steps to reverse the “distortions” in the original mandate of the Constitution.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Personnel said the “distortions” in the original mandate of the Constitution have arisen out of various Supreme Court orders which gave birth to the collegium system.

The report comes a little over a year after the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act which had sought to scrap the collegium system of judges appointing judges.

It also said that instead of five, a minimum of 11 judges of the Supreme Court should hear cases involving the validity of a Constitutional amendment.

It also recommended cases involving interpretation of Constitution should not be heard by a Bench of less than 7 judges.

Over the course hearing on three cases, the Supreme Court has evolved the principle of judicial independence to mean that no other branch of the state, including the legislature and the executive, would have a major say in the appointment of judges.
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