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Chief Justice of India (CJI)

05 September 2014

Sathasivam: Safe choice Former CJI P Sathasivam was today sworn in as governor of Kerala, as the first ex-CJI to have been appointed to a state’s governorship.

30 July 2014

The Law Commission chairman Justice AP Shah has recommended that the tenure of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) should be fixed to at least two years, and that the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) should consist of at least four judges, including the CJI as chairperson, reported The Hindu and the Indian Express.

The minimum CJI tenure should take effect after the current roster of sitting Supreme Court judges in line for the CJI post will have retired by August 2022, with Justice NV Ramana as the last CJI under the old system, recommended Shah in a note he sent to the law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Furthermore, he recommended that judges should have a three year “cooling off period” after retirement before they take up any government jobs. The JAC, apart from the four sitting Supreme Court judges, should also include the law minister, with an eminent jurist and an eminent member of civil society picked by the CJI, the prime minister and the leader of the Lok Sabha opposition.

Shah’s proposal was reportedly discussed in Monday’s meeting between the law ministry and top lawyers and retired judges.

22 July 2014

Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha has notified the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 that have received the president’s assent and will reduce the maximum time of the apex court’s summer vacations from 10 to 7 weeks, reported the Indian Express, though the total annual holidays will remain capped at 103 days [Download rules here].

The court took 49 days (7 weeks) of summer vacations this year, against an average of 45 days for the past few years. However, the move is seen as symbolic of Lodha’s desire to reduce pendency in the courts by increasing the number of working days, which has seen heavy resistance from bar councils and associations.

18 July 2014

Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, who recently withdrew from the process to become a Supreme Court judge after government leaks about his suitability, should be the special public prosecutor in the Coalgate scam cases, reported the PTI.

Lodha, who had expressed his regrets about Subramanium's withdrawal from the judgeship process, told the bar appearing before him and two other judges: "If I failed in something you [lawyers appearing in the matter] persuade [Subramanium]... We want a person of impeccable integrity and fine legal mind."

17 July 2014

“Daring” the government to do away with laws requiring tribunals to be headed by judicial members chief justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that it is these laws that create a public perception that retired judges are “running and running and running after tribunals”, reported the Economic Times.

He reportedly said:

The government enacts all these laws insisting that they be headed by judicial members. This creates a perception among the public that retired judges are running and running and running after tribunals

The CJI was part of a five-judge bench hearing a petition challenging the central government’s move to create, among other things, a National Tax Tribunal and a Companies Appellate Tribunal, when he said this.

30 April 2014

SathasivamRights lawyer Monalisa argues that the former Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam introduced a seldom-seen sensitivity into the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence and culture, though one major opportunity was clearly missed.

29 April 2014

RM LodhaThe Supreme Court has issued new guidelines for mentioning matters before it, according to a notice posted on the Supreme Court noticeboard.

28 April 2014

SathasivamCourt Witness does former Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam and asks, was he great? Or merely safe?

04 February 2014

After the Supreme Court’s second-most senior judge and next Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said he would be the last person to accept appointment to the Lokpal selection panel, Chief justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam reportedly nominated the SC’s third-most senior judge HL Dattu to the panel, reported the Indian Express.

The panel, led by the President of India alongside Lok Sabha speaker and leader of the opposition, and an “eminent jurist”, would select select the Lokpal’s chairperson and other members.

Dismissing media reports that he was due to take up the post, Lodha had said in court, according to IANS: “I have not even demitted office. They have named me in the race for Lokpal.”

Lodha will be the next CJI until his retirement on 27 September after Sathasivam steps down on 26 April. Dattu would be CJI for more than a year after Lodha.

In the running for the “eminent jurist” seat on the selection panel are reportedly senior counsel Fali S Nariman, Soli Sorabjee, K Parasaran, Harish Salve, K K Venugopal and attorney general Goolam Vahanvati.

17 January 2014

Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) president Paul Kanagaraj, with an MHAA “delegation”, met Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah seeking his intervention in recalling a list of 12 names recommended for judgeship at the HC, and taking exception to the fact that the recommended advocates were “shortlisted by the collegium on the interference of the Chief Justice of India”, reported the Deccan Chronicle.

Meanwhile the HC’s justice CS Karnan wrote to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes seeking action against chief justice RK Aggarwal for “changing his portfolio [of cases] from Karur to Sivanga”.

Legally India delved into the polico-cultural climate at the Madras Bar, a lot of which apparently revolves around casteism.{jcomments off}

06 August 2013

Advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged in an interview that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) judgment was leaked from the chambers of ex-Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir to private medical colleges.

In response to a question about how Kabir had called Bhushan one of his enemies in a recent TV interview, the advocate told legal website Livelaw:

I can understand why he thinks that. It is because I told him to recuse himself from several cases which he should not have dealt with. He also knows that I was openly talking about the fact that his judgment in the NEET case had been leaked well before it was delivered. Although he said it was not leaked from his chamber, but his body language gave him away. It was obviously given to the private medical colleges well before it was given to his brother judge Justice Dave.

The draft judgment was ready at least by the first of July because on that date my application was listed before him and that time I had information that the draft judgment was already with these private medical colleges. Therefore, I am not surprised at his statement. Every corrupt judge would regard me as his enemy because I have been speaking out against corrupt judges and corruption. I am not surprised he regards me as his enemy.

25 July 2013

CJI slams ex-CJI stay: Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam said about an order of his predecessor Altmas Kabir, who had stayed a lower court’s Rs 100 crore penalty against builders Jaiprakash Associates. “We do not approve of the manner in which the interim orders came to be passed. We do not sit on appeal over orders passed by a coordinate bench. These orders should not have been passed,” said Sathasivam, sitting alongside Justice Ranjan Gogoi [TOI]

SA fixed matches in HC: The Delhi HC accepts charge sheet in 2000 South Africa-India cricket match fixing conspiracy against bookies who allegedly colluded with now-deceased South African captain Hansie Cronje, as Supreme Court rejects PIL asking for CBI inquiry into the more recent spot-fixing scandal [Indian Express]

Justice pleads v boycott: Madras HC Justice Paul Vasanthakumar asked the bar to stop boycotting courts, which was adding to pendency [TOI]

Kanimozhi wants stay lifted for fair trial: DMK party MP Kanimozhi has appealed to the SC to lift the stay on hearings in the 2G spectrum case because it violated her fundamental right to clear her name in court [Hindu]

FDA ignored J&J: Bombay HC queries FDA on why it waited for 18 months to serve a show-cause notice to Johnson & Johnson over allegedly carcinogenic baby talcum powder [Indian Express]

Dow in the dock? Dow Chemicals served fresh summons by district court [PTI]

Acid survivor attacks: “An Acid Attack Survivor Helps India Change Its Laws” [NYT India Inc]

23 July 2013

The former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, who retired last week, has lashed out at the Times of India and the Indian Express for their critical reports of Kabir, purporting to explain in a six-page press release what actually went on behind the scenes.