Jagdeep Dhankhar Law Insider

Akansha Upadhyay

Published on: 08 December 2022 at 19:24 IST

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar has criticized the Supreme Court for striking down the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 for the appointment and transfer of judges of the higher judiciary.

Jagdeep Dhankhar said the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill was passed by the Parliament and the Assemblies of 16 states and asserted that the sovereignty of the Parliament was ‘inviolable’.

He also used strong words to express his displeasure over the frequent disruptions affecting the productivity of the House. In his first address as Speaker, Dhankhar on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court’s NJAC verdict should be reviewed.

“There is no parallel for such a development in democratic history where a duly valid constitutional prescription has been judicially undone, a clear example of grave compromise on parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of the people’s mandate, for which it The House and the Lok Sabha are the guardians,”

Jagdeep Dhankhar said that the Parliament represents the mandate of the people and therefore its opinion should prevail over the basic structure of the Constitution.

The NJAC was a “much-needed historic step”. The legislation received unprecedented support in Parliament. It was passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha in August 2014, followed by the Rajya Sabha with just one abstention. It was ratified by 16 of the 29 state legislatures and the President gave his assent to the bill.

“This historic parliamentary mandate was undone by the Supreme Court (Constitution Bench) on October 16, 2015, by a majority of 4:1, which was not in consonance with the principle of basic structure judicially evolved in the Constitution,” he said. Though seven years have passed, Parliament has not acted on it, he said.

“Parliament is the exclusive and final determiner of the architecture of the Constitution. It is pertinent to note that such an important issue, so vital to the democratic fabric, has received no attention in Parliament for over seven years now.”

It The House, in tandem with the Lok Sabha, being the custodian of the People’s Ordinance, is bound to address this issue, and I am sure it will do so, said Dhankhar. He also urged the members to cooperate in the smooth conduct of business and cited the example of conducting the Constituent Assembly debates with decorum.

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