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CJI and National Judicial Commission

Happenings leading to proceedings and even the proceedings before a five-member bench of Supreme Court puts a question-mark on integrity of even Chief Justice of India by a prominent bar-member recalls about reply from Union Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) revealing that a former Chief Justice of India was not considered fit to chair National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) despite his having headed Indian judiciary for fourteen log months. The former CJI could never provide a satisfactory response to serious allegations on him. His reply in response to an RTI query – Neither Supreme Court nor Chief Justice of India is the appointing or disciplinary authority in respect of judges of superior Courts, including of High Courts – became a matter of debate in seminars and law colleges of India with collegium and In-House procedure in existence for appointing and probing complaints in regard to judges of superior Courts. He could not find merit in a documented complaint against a High Court judge who heard an appeal where a person involved in the case was as close to the judge that the person performed marriage of his grand-daughter from official residence of the concerned judge.

National Judicial Commission with retired judges of Supreme Court as nominees of President, Prime Minister, Leader of largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India and Bar Council of India with Central Vigilance Commissioner as member-secretary should be formed to probe all complaints against retired and existing judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, and recommend punishment for guilty-found ones replacing impeachment by parliament and action taken by Chief Justice of India in judicial or administrative capacity.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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