India

Dept of Justice Says No Disciplinary Authority for CJI

SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL

Referring to a CIC-verdict wherein Department of Justice has confessed that there is no information about disciplinary authority in respect of Chief Justice of India. Authenticated documents provided by Department of Justice during a hearing clearly mention about an ‘In-House Procedure’ existing at Supreme Court regarding ‘Discipline and Removal of Judges’. But a letter from Supreme Court submitted during the hearing quoting the then Chief Justice of India revealing that ‘Neither Supreme Court nor Chief Justice of India is the appointing or disciplinary authority in respect of judges of superior courts, including Judges of High Courts’ is totally in contradiction with documents provided by Department of Justice during the hearing at Central Information Commission.

Though Central Information Commissioner in respect to queries regarding appointment of judges of higher courts preferred not interfering in the matter because of subsequent steps taken by Union government for change in the procedure, yet letter dated 21.04.2006 from Supreme Court also contradicts the real position when presently collegiums-system of appointment of judges practically makes a collegiums headed by Chief Justice of India important functionary in appointment of judges at higher courts.

CPIO vide response No.116/RTI(US.I)/2013 dated 21.05.2013 clubbed response to certain queries which in no way reveals specific information on query (1) about disciplinary authority for (a) Chief Justice of India, (b) Judges of Supreme Court, (c) Chief Justices of Judges of High Courts and (d) Judges of High Courts especially in respect for Chief Justice of India.

I have therefore appealed that Department of Justice be directed to provide clear and specific reply to each of the query of my RTI petition with sought and related documents.

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