India

Indian media: Judicial reforms

The government says reforms will make judiciary more efficient Image copyright AFP
Image caption The government says reforms will make judiciary more efficient

Media in India are discussing the government's plan to reform the country's judicial system by changing the way the judges are appointed.

The lower house of India's parliament on Wednesday passed a bill to replace decades-old system of appointing judges.

The old method, known as the collegium system, allowed a forum of the chief justice and other top judges to appoint and transfer their colleagues.

The new bill replaces the collegium system with an independent commission.

The bill will become law after it's passed in the upper house of the parliament and is approved by the president.

Some experts have expressed concern that the law may undermine the independence of the judiciary.

But Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the proposed law does not impact the judiciary's independence.

"We are for maintaining the sanctity of the judiciary... We have said that this house respects the independence of the judiciary. That should be assuring," The New Indian Express quotes him as saying.

The report say the passage of the bill "marked the nascent Narendra Modi government's opening innings in passing big legislations".

The "landmark bill" comes amid the "government's assertion that the measure was aimed at ensuring that only meritorious people are selected as judges to the higher courts", The Times of India reports.

Rift in AAP

Meanwhile, newspapers and websites are also discussing a "rift" in the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or Common Man's Party.

Shanti Bhushan, one of the founding members of AAP, recently criticised party chief Arvind Kejriwal's leadership.

"Arvind (Kejriwal) is a great leader and a great campaigner, but in my opinion he lacks organisational ability. He does not have the kind of competence which can spread the message of the party all over India," the First Post website quotes Mr Bhushan as saying.

Mr Kejriwal's party made a stunning debut in the Delhi state election in December, but he quit as the chief minister in February after his anti-corruption bill was blocked in the assembly.

In the general election held earlier this year, Mr Kejriwal and his party candidates lost badly in most seats.

The Business Standard says Mr Bhushan's statement has brought the "division within the party to the fore".

The Mail Today says this is "not the first time when questions have been raised about Mr Kejriwal's control over the party functioning".

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