27 April, New Delhi
The Chief Justice of India H L Dattu has refused to participate in a three-member panel for selecting two eminent persons in the six-member National Judicial Appointments Commission, NJAC as a constitution bench of the Supreme Court began hearings on validity of the commission Monday.
The five-judge constitution bench, headed by Justice J S Khehar was told by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that Chief Justice Dattu has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would not participate in the meeting of the panel till the matter is decided by the apex court.
The three-member panel comprises Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition, who are authorised to select and appoint two eminent persons in the six-member NJAC for appointment of judges to higher judiciary.
When it was brought to the notice of the bench, it heard the views of various senior advocates on how to proceed with the matter. After taking note of their views, the judges retired to their chambers and assembled after 15 minutes.
Justice Khehar said that the bench has decided to continue with the hearing on the merits of the case and if needed it will pass an interim order.