Govt uses ‘adverse’ IB reports to reject names of 6 former judges for tribunals, commissions

Two ex-Supreme Court judges, two High Court Chief Justices are among those rejected by ACC

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Updated: April 21, 2017 7:39 am
supreme court, supreme court jurisdiction, judicial diktats, enforcement of decrees, npas, non performing assets, Article 142, indian constitution, india news, latest news The Supreme Court. (File Photo)

ARGUING over the Memorandum of Procedure, the Supreme Court has refused to agree to a Government veto on a judge’s appointment on grounds of national security. But as the faceoff continues, the Centre has used “secret” inputs provided by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to block post-retirement assignments to former judges. The Indian Express has learnt that over the last few months, citing “adverse IB reports,” the Centre has rejected the candidature of six former judges for posting as chairpersons or members of tribunals and commissions.

The six include: two judges who recently retired from the Supreme Court; two who retired as Chief Justices of High Courts; and two former HC judges.

These judges, it is learnt, were recommended by the judiciary for appointments to panels that include Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, Competition Appellate Tribunal, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, National Company Law Tribunal and Armed Forces Tribunal.

The judges’ names were sent for approval to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) after due diligence by the administrative ministry concerned.

While four former judges were not cleared for the job by the ACC on grounds of “adverse IB reports,” two other names were sent back by the ACC without ascribing any reason.

In the case of two of the nominees — both retired High Court judges — the fact that there was an “adverse” IB report about them has been recorded on file by the Cabinet Secretariat, thereby ensuring that they aren’t likely to be considered for any post-retirement jobs in the government again.

In post-retirement appointments, the government is not rule-bound to accept the judiciary’s recommendation but has to provide sufficient grounds for turning it down.

Interestingly, in the case of one former Supreme Court judge, the government disregarded an “adverse IB input” and appointed him as member of a tribunal.

Sources said this rejection on the basis of IB reports, which contain little or virtually no corroborative evidence, is bound to make it harder for the Chief Justice of India to persuade retired judges to accept such posts.

“On what basis did the IB find a former judge of the Supreme Court of doubtful integrity? We aren’t talking about just anyone. It is about judges who have sat in the highest court of the land. I have seen many such IB reports when I was a member of the collegium and they are mostly based on hearsay. If the government is doing what you are telling me, then it is worrisome signal,” said a retired Chief Justice of India who didn’t wish to be named.

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  1. M
    Apr 24, 2017 at 6:22 pm
    Good. I am glad that Govt of India is smoking out unwanted, perhaps dangerous, people from the society. Such people may be from any strata of our society or even they might have held some important positions in the past. This alone cannot be the sufficient qualification. Why are we still obsessed with colonial period practices. Why do we look for always some judges to dabble in some highly technical matters. These chappies have no clue whatsoever. Appoint experts from the relevant fields and make their decisions appeal able in highers committees or panels of experts only. The decision of higher panel of experts should be final and binding upon the parties and make it beyond judiciary.
    1. Sankara Menon
      Apr 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm
      On retirement they should just go home.
      1. Sankara Menon
        Apr 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm
        It is time we did about this post retirement lolly scam. Same with arbitration. I will not recount instances. It is time these posts are given to young competent lawyers and not to old bandicoots borderline geriatrics
        1. Saketh GY
          Apr 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm
          Now a days judges are behaving like they are above law and nation..they must know their. Limits
          1. sanajy
            Apr 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm
            All me lords are pimps and they themsleves have proven it by long rope to anti national, but against ahmed forces ,open court at 2am for terrorists , decide height of Dahi Handi but rules out Ayodhya Temple case , the list is so long that to write them on clothes all me lords would become nude
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