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Parliament passes bill ending judges' collegium system

New Delhi: Parliamentary approval was accorded to two bills seeking to end the collegium system for appointment of judges with the Rajya Sabha Thursday adopting the measure as passed by the Lok Sabha Wednesday.

The Constitution (99th Amendment) Bill, which seeks to put the proposed judicial appointment commission and its entire composition in the constitution, and the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014, which lays down the procedure to be followed by the proposed body for appointment of Supreme Court judges and transfer and appointment of chief justices and other judges of the high courts, will now go for the president's assent.

The bills were passed by the Lok Sabha Wednesday, and the Rajya Sabha passed them Thursday.

In the upper house, where the government has just 59 of the 243 members, the constitutional amendment bill got the support of 179 out of 180 members present.

A bill for amending the constitution needs the support of at least two-thirds of the members present in the house, and at least half of the members should be present at the time of voting.

Ram Jethmalani, an Independent member from Rajasthan, was the only member who abstained from voting.

The Rajya Sabha then passed the judicial appointment commission bill with a voice vote.

The two bills seek to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges and set up a commission for this.

The bills propose that the Chief Justice of India will head a six-member National Judicial Appointments Commission, other members of which would be the law minister, two senior Supreme Court judges and two eminent people.

A collegium comprising the prime minister, the Chief Justice of India and the leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha will select the two eminent people.

One eminent person will be nominated from among the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, minorities or women.

The bill states that the commission will seek the views of the governor and chief minister of the state concerned in writing before appointing or transferring a judge of that high court.

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