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Lodha: No system of appointing judges is perfect

Lodha was speaking at the annual lecture and award function organised by civil society group Capital Foundation Society.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: October 6, 2014 1:22 am

Days after his retirement as the Chief Justice of India, R M Lodha said on Sunday that no system for appointment of judges can be “the best” and that a judge appointed by the government may feel pressure in deciding cases against them.

He also said the government was a major litigant before the Supreme Court and situations could be tricky when a judge is expected to decide a case involving people who appointed him or her.

“No method has been found to be the best for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary and constitutional courts. I feel there should not be any outside influence, political or economical, in the present situation where there is expanded power of judicial review with the highest court,” he said. “In such a situation, there could be a lurking feeling in a judge that here is a person who appointed me and the judicial independence will hence get affected. This is not good not only for the independence of judiciary but also for the foundation of the democracy…”

Justice Lodha was speaking at the annual lecture and award function organised by civil society group Capital Foundation Society. He said there were different procedure resorted to in different countries for appointment of judges but it remained a fact that no system was found to be flawless.

Justice Lodha, who demitted office as the CJI on September 27, said although collegium system for appointing judges to the higher judiciary was subjected to a lot of criticism, it must be kept in mind the situations wherein this method was evolved to keep the independence of judiciary intact.

Also speaking on the occasion, Law Commission chairperson A P Shah fired the latest salvo against former CJI P Sathasivam’s acceptance of governorship for Kerala.

“Today the government is a major litigant in the Supreme Court. Almost 60 per cent of the cases are from the Centre and state governments. Empirical data suggests that large proportion of Supreme Court judges in the recent past were appointed to such post retirement jobs, most often within one year of their retirement,” he said. “This phenomenon has a tendency to undermine the independence of the judiciary as it creates incentives for sitting judges to curry favour with the government of the day with a view to getting a post retirement job. I was disappointed when one former CJI took the governorship for a state,” Justice Shah said, calling for a two-year cooling off period.

He described the NDA government’s proposed Judicial Appointment Commission Bill as a “missed opportunity,” since it failed to address issues relating to criteria for selection of judges as well as transparency and accountability in the process of appointment.

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    atamprakash s.wadhwa
    Oct 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm
    YOU HAVE RETIRED WITHOUT BEING AFFIRMATIVE ON YOUR OWN VARIOUS STATEMENT'S MADE IN ALL NEWS PAPERS OF INDIA AND NOT FOLLOWING THE OATH YOU HAD TAKEN BEFORE AND AFTER GETTING THE CHAIR OF CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND SPOILED YOUR OWN NAME WHICH YOU HAD FROM JODHPUR TO BOMBAY HIGH COURT AND ALSO SPOILED THE NAME OF YOUR FOUNDING FATHER'S . I REQUEST YOU TO PLEASE CALL FOR MY GRIEVANCES AGAINST SUPREME COURT SENT TO YOU ON YOUR RESIDENCE AND SUPREME COURT ADDRESS AND ALSO MAILS SENT IN YOUR NAME ON SUPREME COURT MAIL ADDRESS AND ALSO CALL FOR LETTERS SENT IN YOUR NAME AND DELIVERED TO THE DESPATCH SECTION OF THE SUPREME COURT AND FROM THIS IT WILL BE VERY CLEAR THAT INDEPENDENCE OF JUDICIARY HAS BEEN COMPROMISED IN MY CASE FROM BOMBAY HIGH COURT TO SUPREME COURT .NOW REQUEST YOU TO USE JUDICIARY INHERENT STRENGTH AND DO JUSTICE IN MY CASE WHICH YOU HAVE NOT DONE WHEN YOU WERE CHIEF OF JUSTICE AND JUST KEPT ON MAKING BASELESS STATEMENTS .
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    1. Kannan Puratchi Kural
      Oct 8, 2014 at 2:10 am
      R M Lodha said on Sunday that no system for appointment of judges can be “the best” y not art 312? all india Judicial Services Exam is must
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