oppn parties Appointment of CJI: Over To The Government Now

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Appointment of CJI: Over To The Government Now

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Laying to rest all speculations and following convention, the outgoing CJI Justice Dipak Misra has written to the government recommending the name of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, as the next chief justice of India. Commentators had been speculating that convention might be thrown to the winds as Justice Misra was supposedly peeved at Justice Gogoi for raising the banner of revolt by holding a press conference with three other judges to criticize the way of working of the present CJI. But when people occupy such high positions, they obviously do not let personal or professional tiffs come in way of conventions and fair play. Justice Misra has done what needed to be done and what all other chief justices had been doing before him.

There have been two instances – both, not surprisingly, when the late Indira Gandhi was prime minister– when the government did not appoint the senior-most judge as the chief justice. First, in August 1973, Justice A N Roy was appointed the chief justice superseding three judges senior to him. All three – Justice J M Shelat, Justice K S Hegde and Justice A N Grover – resigned in protest. All three judges had drawn Indira Gandhi’s ire by passing a majority order in the Keshavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala that went against what she wanted. Justice Ray had written a dissenting order more in line with the official thinking. He was rewarded for it.

Then again in 1977, Justice M H Beg superseded Justice H R Khanna as chief justice. Justice Khanna’s fault was that he was too independent, refusing to toe any particular line. Indira Gandhi was known to clip the wings of people who were independent thinkers or who swore by the rule of law. For it was her habit to bend the law according to her preference with pliant judiciary. Strategic appointments were a key to this. Those controversial appointments put pliant people in place and brought others in line too. They also showed who the boss was, something that Indira Gandhi was always eager to show. If this government follows Indira Gandhi’s line and does not appoint Justice Gogoi as chief justice, it would be driving another wedge in the relations between the executive and the judiciary. Apart from being the senior-most judge after the CJI, Justice Gogoi is an outstanding deliverer of justice and there can be no question marks on his competence. Hence, the government should not go against convention and should clear his appointment.