Supreme Court: Supreme Court row: Seniority is a sacred principle for judges | India News
NEW DELHI: Seniority is a delicate difficulty for prime courtroom (HC) judges, being the determinant of their profession prospects, be it potential appointment as chief justice of an HC, elevation to the Supreme Courtroom and, for the fortunate ones, appointment as Chief Justice of India.
Although there have been many situations prior to now when HC judges have been elevated on to the SC as judges with out changing into chief justices of HCs, the precept of seniority continues to be handled with utmost reverence.
A decide within the SC will get seniority from the time he takes oath. If a couple of take oath on the identical day, the one who’s sworn in first turns into the senior amongst them.
In case of Justice Jasti Chelameswar, one of many prime movers within the revolt towards CJI Dipak Misra on Friday, it was non-adherence to seniority in elevation to the SC as a decide that robbed him of the possibility of changing into the CJI.
Justice Chelameswar was appointed as an HC decide on June 23, 1997, which was after the appointment of CJI Misra and his instant predecessor Justice J S Khehar. Justice Misra was appointed as an HC decide on January 17, 1996 whereas Justice Khehar was appointed on February eight, 1999. However Justice Chelameswar grew to become chief justice of Gauhati HC on Could three, 2007, a lot earlier than Justice Khehar (November 29, 2009) and Justice Misra (December 23, 2009).
Nevertheless, Justice Chelameswar’s seniority benefit of greater than two years over Justices Khehar and Misra was nullified by the then collegium, which appointed Justice Khehar as an SC decide on September 13, 2011, practically a month earlier than Justices Misra and Chelameswar took oath on October 10, 2011.
Destiny once more performed a trick with Justice Chelameswar as he took oath after Justice Misra, the latter, thus, changing into senior to him.
If seniority had taken its course, Justice Chelameswar would have taken over CJI on January four, 2017 after the retirement of then CJI T S Thakur; ie, earlier than even Justice Khehar, who was succeeded by Justice Misra on August 28, 2017.
With the collegium, together with future, deciding in any other case, Justice Chelameswar has by no means shunned articulating his gripe in regards to the video games performed within the collegium because it selects individuals as judges of the SC and HCs. He had put this angst on file in his dissenting judgment as a part of the five-judge bench, which by majority had quashed the NJAC which was meant to finish collegium’s monopoly within the appointment of judges of HCs and SC .
Quoting former SC decide Ruma Pal Justice Chelameswar had stated that the collegium acted like a coterie, and that there was a barter system amongst member judges.
Seniority carries different advantages too, particularly the privilege of appointing judges of the SC and HCs. The primary three SC judges, together with the CJI, get to pick individuals for appointment as judges of HCs. The privilege of appointing chief justices belongs to the 5 senior-most judges who comprise the collegium. The CJI-headed physique additionally selects individuals from amongst advocates, HC judges and HC CJs for appointment as SC judges. This earns the highest 5 monumental respect amongst advocates and HC judges.