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Retired Supreme Court judges should be member-nominees of PM, Opposition-leader, CJI and Bar Council in NJAC

Best and only remedy regarding appointment of judges in higher judiciary is to constitute a permanent National Judicial Commission (NJC) with retired Supreme Court judges as member-nominees of Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Chief Justice of India and Bar Council of India with Chief Vigilance Commissioner as member-secretary of the Commission. Such a Commission will thus have a judicially-refined say of legislature in appointment of judges. Moreover sitting judges and others on posts will not have to be involved in appointment-process which not only affects their normal task. Complete appointment-process should be made public after completion of appointment-process as also suggested by retired Chief Justice of India RM Lodha. Since any fresh legislation in this regard is very cumbersome, it is for Supreme Court to come out with such suggestions also because Supreme Court in its verdict has itself admitted improvement in present appointment-process of judges.

Enquiry-commissions set up by political rulers even though headed by retired judges are usually an eye-wash with panels usually giving findings in tune with requirement of political rulers having appointed them like happened in two different enquiry-panels one each by Gujarat government and Union Railway Ministry on Godhra incident with both panels giving contrast reports. National Judicial Commission should be the only authority to suggest names of retired judges in all judicial panels/commissions appointed by the centre and/or states. Either same or another Commission on similar lines should be formed for looking into complaints against judges of higher courts with power to order punishment and/or removal of guilty-found judges

There should be a ban of two years in post-retirement postings of retiring judges. Even chairpersons of Human Rights Commissions at national and state level should be selected from amongst retired judges of Supreme Court by National Judicial Commission, after two years of their retirement. Retirement-age of High Court judges should be 65 years to be at par with that of Supreme Court judges to effectively check lobbying by some High Court judges for elevation to Supreme Court. Chief Justice of India should be made for one year by rotation amongst senior-most judges with at least one year of tenure left to check contrast cases with Justice Kamal Narain Singh having been CJI for just 18 days (25.11.1991 to 12.12.1991) while Justice Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud having been CJI for more than seven years (22.02.1978 to 11.07.1985). All High Court judges should be compulsorily appointed from outside their home-states to avoid chances of locally-appointed judges being approached/influenced through former bar-colleagues and local relations/friends etc.

SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL

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