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Govt will bring in amendment to define 'consultation'

Noting that it is a very important bill, the minister said it "requires discussion with various stakeholders who are concerned about it. It is required to be discussed with all eminent persons.


Govt will bring in amendment to define 'consultation'
Earlier participating in a debate on the bill, D Raja (CPI) said there should be clarity on the world 'consultation' and 'concurrence' as there is "no transparency" in appointments in higher judiciary. (Image Credit: Twitter)

The government today said it will bring in an amendment to the Constitution to define 'consultation' after discussing with various stakeholders, especially in view of the issue cropping up during the process of appointment of judges.

Minister of State for Law and Justice P P Chaudhary assured TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Ray -- who on February 2, 2018 had introduced the private member bill to amend Article 366 of the Constitution to define the word 'consultation' -- that the matter will be taken up at an appropriate time.

The word 'consultation' could not be defined under Article 366 when the Constitution was enacted and therefore there are many judicial pronouncements, he said.

However, consultation has been provided for appointment of judges of high court and the Supreme Court and even for transfer of judges and appointment of additional judges under Articles 124, 217 and 270, he said.

Noting that it is a very important bill, the minister said it "requires discussion with various stakeholders who are concerned about it. It is required to be discussed with all eminent persons.

"Thereafter we can come with a particular legislation. At this stage, I request my learned member to withdraw the bill. I assure him certainly at appropriate time, we will discuss with various stakeholders and thereafter we will come to a particular opinion and come with a legislation."

A wider consultation is required on the matter in the backdrop of the apex court observing that "there was a need to revisit the collegium system for selection of judges for higher judiciary," he added.

The TMC leader said, "It is a simple bill but has got a very significant impact on the present situation prevailing in the judiciary ."

The word 'consultation' has been used in different articles of the Constitution.

"In each and every article, where the word 'consultation' has been used, if that means concurrence, then there may be a stalemate in many areas where the government may not function properly," he said.

He said that it is a serious issue and should be kept alive and discussed before arriving at finality.

"The way things are interpreted and done are dangerous to the democracy. Common good factor has to be kept in mind. Based on the assurance, I withdraw the bill," the TMC leader said.

Earlier participating in a debate on the bill, D Raja (CPI) said there should be clarity on the world 'consultation' and 'concurrence' as there is "no transparency" in appointments in higher judiciary.

He also expressed concern over lack of representation for women and minorities in judiciary. A "cynical" argument is given that there are no suitable and meritorious candidates. The bill is relevant in order to ensure justice, he added.

Supporting the bill, V Vijayasai Reddy (YSRCR) said the independence of judiciary has to be maintained and the word 'consultation' should be properly defined. He emphasised that there must transparency in the appointment of judges.

Bhupender Yadav of the BJP said the definition of consultation is not defined in the Constitution but it appears in various Articles. "Sometimes the absence of this definition (of consultation) creates ambiguity," Yadav said, supporting the Bill.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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