21 SC judges retd since ’08,18 in govt panels

Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta retired on April 23,2009,but was appointed chairperson of the newly-established National Green Tribunal.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2012 1:36:21 am

Bureaucrats aren’t the only ones to continue in government post-retirement. Of the 21 judges to have retired from the Supreme Court since January 2008,18 got jobs in different government commissions and tribunals. A majority still continue in these positions.

In many cases,judges accepted post-retirement appointments much before they formally demitted office — at least three of them when they still had many months of service left — shows data collected by The Indian Express. In many cases,the names were recommended by the Chief Justice himself. Judges of the Supreme Court retire when they reach the age of 65 years.

Consider this: Justice Dalveer Bhandari was elected a judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ),a posting based in The Hague,about five months before he was to demit office on September 30,2012. In order to take up his new assignment,he quit a few months before his actual retirement date.

Justice Mukundakam Sharma retired on September 18,2011. At least four months prior to that,he got clearance for his next job,chairperson of the Central government-appointed Vansadhara Water Dispute Tribunal. The post had fallen vacant suddenly after Justice B N Agrawal resigned.

Justice Ashok Bhan,who retired on October 2,2008,was immediately appointed chairperson of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for a five-year term,a job for which he had been selected before his retirement.

Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly,who retired on February 3 this year,is the chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission since March. while Justice Markandey Katju,who retired on September 20,2011,was appointed chairperson of the Press Council of India on October 5,2011.

Justice V S Sirpurkar,who retired on August 21,2011,is now chairman of the Competition Appellate Tribunal of India while Justice J M Panchal,who retired on October 5,2011,is head of the tribunal set up to resolve the Mahadayi river water dispute between Karnataka,Goa and Maharashtra.

Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta retired on April 23,2009,but was appointed chairperson of the newly-established National Green Tribunal. Even before he could complete his tenure,he resigned in February this year to take over as Lokayukta of Himachal Pradesh,his home state.

Justice Tarun Chatterjee,whose name cropped up during investigation into the Ghaziabad provident fund scam,retired on January 14,2010. Less than a week later,a Supreme Court bench appointed him commissioner for settling the boundary dispute between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

Former Supreme Court judge S B Sinha retired on August 8,2009,and by November 3 the same year,had been appointed chairperson of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

Another of his colleagues in the Supreme Court,Justice Arijit Pasayat,completed his three-year term as chairperson of the Competition Appellate Tribunal,on May 9,2012,a post he had taken up within days of retiring from the Supreme Court.

Justice H S Bedi,who retired on September 5,2011,was appointed by an SC Bench in March this year to head the monitoring authority to investigate the police encounters in Gujarat between 2003 and 2006. He also heads the one-man judicial commission that is probing the suspicious death of National Conference worker Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah after a visit to the residence of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdulllah.

Justice R V Raveendran,who retired on October 15,2011,had given his consent for the job of chairperson of the National Green Tribunal to the Chief Justice of India the same month. But,miffed with the failure of the government to issue his appointment order,he has now withdrawn his consent.

Justice A K Mathur,who retired on August 7,2008,was appointed first chairperson of the Armed Forces Tribunal for a period of four years within days of his retirement,while Justice H K Sema,who retired on June 1,2008,was within a matter of days appointed chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission.

Justice P P Naolekar retired from the Supreme Court on June 29,2008. A year later,he took over as Lokayukta,Madhya Pradesh.

Justice G P Mathur,who retired on January 19,2008,was appointed a member of the National Human Rights Commission on April 15,2008.

The chairperson of the Law Commission of India,Justice P V Reddy,who retired as a judge of the Supreme Court on August 10,2005,is serving his second post-retirement appointment,the first one being as chairperson of the Authority for Advance Rulings,which he joined in March 2007.

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