Nullification of NJAC: Upholding the Independence of Judiciary or an Attempt to Insulate the Collegium from Democratic Accountability

  • Snegapriya and Dr. P.R.L. Rajavenkatesan
  • Show Author Details
  • Snegapriya

    Student at VIT School of Law, India

  • Dr. P.R.L. Rajavenkatesan

    Associate Professor at VIT School of Law, India

  • img Download Full Paper


Democracy has a wider meaning rather be merely comprehended in relation to periodic elections. The nexus between Democracy, Federalism, and Secularism are apparent, which forms the Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution as held in the case of S.R Bommai v. Union of India, regardless of being nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. Federalism is the cornerstone principle upon which the Constitution is built, it backs democracy and avert despotism. Democracy and Federalism are complementary in nature, in the renowned democratic country of India; the intervention of one governmental organ in the working sphere of another is proscribed. The nullification of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014, and the 99th Amendment of the Indian Constitution is based on the majority rule that the NJAC Act weakens the power of courts i.e. judicial review vested with the judiciary, which forms the Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution, therefore, null and void. Nevertheless, the wording of Justice Jasti Chelameswar depicts his strong averse to the Collegium System gains its prominence and can never be overlooked as it was in line with the reports of various commissions including the Law Commission of India Report (2008), the collective opinion was that ‘the judges cannot be their own appointees.’ This paper addresses the reasons as to why nullification of the NJAC Act is perceived to be the verge of judicial despotism in India, as the Collegium system itself finds no mention in the Constitution and is brought forth by the judiciary through precedents and protected by the same, which is contrary to the principle of checks and balances. This paper is an attempts to scrutinize whether the Collegium system is absolutely opaque, which challenges one of the vital factors of Constitutional Governance i.e. transparency. With the help of existing secondary sources, this paper attempts to impart the nature, object, and conceptualization of the NJAC Act, its potential outcome, shortcomings, and legal validity by analyzing the NJAC dissent in detail.




International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 241 - 247


Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copyright © IJLMH 2021