THE COLLEGIUM VS NJAC DEBATE: ANALYZING INDIA'S JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT SYSTEMS
The Judiciary must be encouraged to find ways and means to regulate its own affairs – consistent with the spirit of the Constitution. – Former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The conflict over judicial appointments in India is a longstanding issue. The original constitutional provision stated that the President appoints judges in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and other judges. However, this system evolved into the collegium system, criticized for its lack of transparency and perceived nepotism. The National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014, aimed to replace the collegium with a more transparent system but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court a year after implementation. This article will analyze the historical evolution of judicial appointments in India, highlighting the issues that have emerged. It will then compare the Indian and American judicial appointment systems. Finally, the article will provide suggestions to enhance the judicial appointment process.