Rajasthan became the first Indian state to ratify the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill 2014. The Bill was unanimously passed by the Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan on 17 September 2014.
The Assembly of Rajasthan also adopted the 121st Constitutional Amendment Bill that mentions about National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
The Bill seeks to end the two-decade-old collegium system of appointments and transfers of judges to higher judiciary. It lays down the procedure to be followed by the NJAC for recommending persons for appointment as Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice and other judges of High Courts.
After the Parliament passed the Bill in August 2014, the NJAC Bill was sent to States in accordance to Article 368 of the Constitution of India. Article 368 empowers the Parliament to amend the Constitution but the amendment is required to be ratified by the legislatures of not less than one-half of the states by resolutions to that effect before the amendment Bill can be presented to the President for assent.
As a result, NJAC Bill needs endorsement by at least 15 states before sending it for the Presidential assent. The bill will become an Act, once it receives the presidential nod.
Article 368 of the Constitution
Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution of India mentions the provisions of Amendment of Constitution. The Article 368 gives power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure thereof.
In sub-section 368(2) states that any amendment that seeks to make any change in
(a) Article 54, Article 55, Article 73, Article 162 or Article 241, or
(b) Chapter IV of Part V, Chapter V of Part VI, or Chapter I of Part XI, or
(c) Any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule, or
(d) The representation of States in Parliament, or
(e) The provisions of this article
the amendment shall also require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolutions to that effect passed by those Legislatures before the Bill making provision for such amendment is presented to the President for assent. Nothing in article 13 shall apply to any amendment made under this article.
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