Suggestions Of SCBA President Must Be Now Considered Promptly And Most Seriously

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate
A-82, Defence Enclave, Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
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Date : 10/06/2023
Location : S/o Col. BPS Sirohi, A-82, Defence Enclave, Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera, Meerut-250001, Uttar Pradesh

Suggestions Of SCBA President Must Be Now Considered Promptly And Most Seriously

I have definitely no hesitation at all in saying with full conviction that what the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Dr. Adish C. Aggarwala who recently got elected as President after surpassing many of his strong competitors with most strongest being Mr. Dushyant Dave who himself was earlier President but had resigned in 2021 and in addition earlier Dr. Adish has also been the former Vice President of Supreme Court Bar Association and so also is a jurist and President of International Council of Jurists and Chairman of All India Bar Association and Convener of Indian Council of Jurists has said most vocally as recently as on June 12, 2023 that the Chief Justice of India should have a tenure of minimum six months to ensure sufficient time for proper administration of justice must be now considered most promptly with full seriousness. There should be no more dilly-dallying on such a most serious issue directly affecting the top court itself! While speaking at a function that was organized for his felicitation, it must be mentioned that the Supreme Court Bar Association President has also sought changes in the existing norms for appointing High Court Chief Justices. It must be also mentioned that the Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal was the Chief Guest at the function and former Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan was also present.

For the exclusive benefit of my esteemed readers, it must be mentioned here that Dr. Adish C. Aggarwala minced just no words in saying forthrightly that, "I am of the view that no Chief Justice of India should be appointed if he is not having a tenure of minimum six months as CJI, for ensuring sufficient time for proper administration of justice and implementation of policies affecting the judicial system of the country." There can be just no denying or disputing it. A tenure of less than six months is just nothing as the CJI then remains on tenterhooks and then disappears within no time and the highest post of Judge in judiciary that is the CJI must definitely at least have a tenure of minimum six months. There can be no two opinions about it.

It must be recalled here that earlier also Dr. Aggarwala in the International Conference of Jurists in 2013 had said most clearly, cogently and convincingly that, "Let there be increase in the number of Judges in Supreme Court and High Courts. Also increase the age of retirement with no right to practice or appointment after retirement except under the Commissions of Enquiry Act. Then we will have proper justice delivery system." I too very strongly feel that what Dr. Adish has pointed out has a lot of relevance and merit in it and the CJI should definitely not be allowed to get any appointment from Centre after retirement nor be allowed to practice as this will ostensibly ensure that CJI does not get biased in lure of getting a plum post retirement job as most unfortunately we are seeing right now since last so many years which definitely affects the level of independent decision making of CJI as CJI too is a human being and like the rest of the crowd most of the CJI too first think about their own personal interest also in the longer run which is an unpalatable truth from which we definitely cannot run away! Why Centre has not listened to what Dr. Adish pointed out so sagaciously and that too way back in 2013 and has reiterated it yet again in 2023 is beyond comprehension! Yet let us fervently hope that Centre will at least now revise its stand and debate, discuss and deliberate on it what Dr. Adish has pointed out so very forcefully!

Adding more to it, Dr. Adish also suggested that the appointment and elevation of Judges should be solely on the basis of merit. When there can be a written exam for Additional District Judges by way of a Higher Judicial Services exam and similarly there is written exam for Judicial Magistrates and Chief Judicial Magistrates by way of Judicial Services exam then why there is no written exam for becoming a High Court Judge and a Supreme Court Judge? Why no merit on the basis of written exam is conducted for them also? Why no one bats for written exams for them also? It is high time and this must be now done for them also!

Further, Dr. Aggarwala also very rightly pointed out that, "If any judge is not found suitable for being promoted to the higher court, he should also not be allowed to continue as a judge, and instead, should be removed from his position."

It is worth noting that Dr. Aggarwala also opined quite freely, frankly and fairly that retired judges should not be appointed in any tribunal or commission. He very rightly said that, "Only sitting judges should be appointed to such posts after the sanctioned strength of judge posts is increased suitably." This will ensure that Judges in lure of post retirement jobs don't favour the government when it is just not required for their own petty vested interests! No denying it

What's more, Dr. Adish also most commendably hastened to add recommending robustly, rationally and remarkably that, "We also want the retirement age of Supreme Court Judges to be increased from the existing 65 to 68. Similarly, the retirement age of High Court Judges should go up from 62 to 65 years. In district judiciary, it should be increased from 60 to 62." There is no reason as to why what Dr. Adish C. Aggarwala has suggested most laudably must not be implemented most promptly so that the public as a whole especially the litigant stands to gain the most and Judges too are also assured of an enough tenure that makes them less dependent on post retirement jobs enabling them to function more independently and more fearlessly !

Speaking strictly for myself, I very strongly feel that the post of Chief Justice of India must certainly have a minimum tenure of at least one year. But to say the very least, Centre if not one year must at least listen to none other than the incumbent President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of India - Dr. Adish C. Aggarwala known as one of the most eminent jurist of India who has openly batted most vociferously for at least 6 months for the post of CJI which definitely appears to be most reasonable also and so there is no reason also why this must not be implemented now forthwith! Of course, it has been many decades that the retirement age of Judges of the Supreme Court, of the High Courts and of the District Courts also have not been increased till now which is definitely at least for me beyond comprehension. So certainly now without any more dilly-dallying of any kind on one pretext or the other, this also must definitely be done most promptly by Centre so that the judicial system of our country stands to gain the most especially the litigants which is the crying need of the hour also!

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