Lodha’s last day in office
Outgoing Chief Justice of India R M Lodha said senior and competent advocates should also be directly elevated as apex court judges as has been done by him and hoped that his successors will follow the policy.
‘Elevate lawyers directly to SC’
New Delhi: Outgoing Chief Justice of India R M Lodha said senior and competent advocates should also be directly elevated as apex court judges as has been done by him and hoped that his successors will follow the policy.
He revealed that during his tenure, five lawyers were considered for appointment as apex court judges but finally only two were appointed.
"In the first list of four names that I sent after consulting with my brother judges, two names were from the bar. Unfortunately, name of one of the recommended names got in controversy and ultimately he had to withdraw his consent. "In the second list of four recommended names I sent name of one member from the bar. I am very happy to tell you that I was able with the help of my colleagues to have two members from the bar as judges of this court. I and my brother and sister judges are proud of those judges who have been recruited from the bar," he said. Regards the remaining two, he said one of them finally declined citing his personal reasons and other name could not go ahead.
Justices R F Nariman and U U Lalit have been elevated directly as apex court judges.
Lodha said that appointment in higher judiciary by another body may affect independence of judiciary. On the government getting a say in the appointment of judges through the proposed Judges Accountability Bill, Lodha said that judges are best equipped to judge the suitability of a person for being a judge. "There should be a cooling off period of 2 years for judges to accept any appointment," the CJI opined. On his last day in office CJI Lodha said that he was never ever put under political pressure in his 21-year-long stint as a judge.