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‘Cooling-off period for judges not needed’

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said that he saw no problem in Supreme Court and High Court judges being appointed on tribunals and judicial commissions immediately after their retirement.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said that he saw no problem in Supreme Court and High Court judges being appointed on tribunals and judicial commissions immediately after their retirement.

The minister was in Allahabad to meet High Court judges for discussing various issues related to improving the justice delivery system.

Replying to a query at a press conference ahead of the scheduled meeting,Khurshid said: “The government has given such assignments (appointing them to tribunals) to around 18 judges of the Supreme Court,out of a total of retired 90 judges. Overall,the number of retired judges is around 900 and very few out of them have been given such assignments. I am not ready to believe that such learned men would sell themselves just to get an appointment of this kind.”

Khurshid further added: “We want the retirement ages of the judges to be raised. But we don’t have the requisite numbers in the Parliament to make constitutional amendment,which is required for the purpose.” The minister added that more consultations were necessary for setting up of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

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Recently,the BJP leaders had raised the issue of judicial independence in the wake of post-retirement jobs for judges and suggested making two-year “cool-off” period mandatory.

Asked about Arvind Kejriwal’s new party,Khurshid said that now he should be treated like a politician and not a NGO representative. “Jaise ab aap log hamse sawaal poochhte hain kee paisa kahan se aaya,waise hee ab unse poochhiye (now you ask him where the money is coming from in the same manner as you ask us),” he said. “Shaadi ho jaane ke baad zimmedari badh jaati hai (The responsibility increases once you get married),” he added.

On the issue of Gujarat election campaign,Khurshid dismissed “Modi magic” saying such things impress only children. “We will talk about the truth of development and progress in Gujarat,” he said.

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Talking about the limit on number of LPG cylinders,Khurshid said: “There is no dispute on having a limit on subsidised cylinders. The question was of numbers. The states can increase the number of subsidised cylinders,but not before arranging for it in their budgets. They should not expect that the Centre would foot the additional subsidy bill. Increasing fiscal deficit is not a good thing for the economy.”

First published on: 05-10-2012 at 05:39 IST
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