Subhash Chandra Agrawal for BeyondHeadlines
Considering a blunt exposure on politicians interfering in appointment of judges of higher courts, now by former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, and earlier cases of politicians influencing judges like more recently in case of Saharashree case, Chief Justice of India RM Lodha should immediately constitute a larger bench to decide Supreme Court’s own petitions against various court-stayed verdicts dated 24.11.2009 of Central Information Commission (CIC) wherein a Division Bench of the Apex Court vide its decision dated 26.11.2010 in SLP(C) numbers 32855 & 32856 of 2009 directed its registry to put the matter before Chief Justice of India for constituting a larger bench.
But unfortunately successive Chief Justices of India have deferred with comments like ‘Put it later’, ‘Put it after vacations’ constituting a larger bench for long 44 months now resulting in regular controversies also with most recent on Union government succeeding in Gopal Subramaniam not being appointed a judge at Supreme Court.
Everything relating to appointment-process of Supreme Court judges including even much-hided Intelligence Bureau (IB) report and Union government asking the collegium to reconsider its recommendation on Gopal Subramaniam is out in media. Even name of Justice Ashok Kumar has appeared openly in media to be favoured by DMK (Times Now 21.07.2014), as targeted by Justice Markasndey Katju.
Absence of transparency in judicial appointments led Justice YK Sabharwal being appointed as Chief Justice of India whom Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) later did not find fit to chair National Human Right Commission (NHRC). It is significant that YK Sabharwal in an RTI response put a question-marked statement “Neither Supreme Court nor Chief Justice of India is appointing or disciplinary authority in respect of Judges of superior courts, including judges of High Courts” with everyone knowing about supremacy of Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India in appointment in higher judiciary and a unanimously passed resolution by all judges of Supreme Court on “In-House procedure” to probe complaints against judges of higher courts.
Another judge of High Court whose file was once returned by the then President of India for elevating as Chief Justice of a High Court and who could not be elevated to Supreme Court is now posted simultaneously on two important posts.
There remains no logic in continued stay on CIC-verdicts dated 24.11.2009 on such important aspects with even Chief Justice of India openly talking on Gopal Supbramaniam not being appointed as Supreme Court judge.
(Writer is Guinness Record Holder for most letters in newspapers and an RTI activist)