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SC to pronounce verdict on validity of NJAC Act today

A television journalist sets his camera inside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi February 18, 2014. India's Supreme Court commuted death sentences on three men for involvement in the killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment on Tuesday because of an 11-year delay in deciding on their petitions for mercy. Gandhi was killed by an ethnic Tamil suicide bomber while campaigning in an election in the southern Indian town of Sriperumbudur in May 1991. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee (INDIA - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS)
A television journalist sets his camera inside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi February 18, 2014. India's Supreme Court commuted death sentences on three men for involvement in the killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment on Tuesday because of an 11-year delay in deciding on their petitions for mercy. Gandhi was killed by an ethnic Tamil suicide bomber while campaigning in an election in the southern Indian town of Sriperumbudur in May 1991. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee (INDIA - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday will pronounce its judgement on a lot of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) which brought to an end the two-decade-old collegium system of judges appointing judges in the higher judiciary.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice J S Khehar had reserved its judgement on July 15 after a marathon hearing for 31 days on the issue of validity of the 99th Constitutional amendment and the NJAC Act.

The petitions challenging the new legislation were filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) and others contending that the new law on the selection and appointment of judges is unconstitutional and aimed at hurting the independence of judiciary.

However, the Centre had defended the introduction of the new law saying that the two-decade-old collegium system where judges appointed judges was not free from defects and got the support of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The verdict is likely to be announced today at 10:30 am.

ANI