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the bench

04 January 2021

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has announced its intention of banning fresh law graduates from joining the judicial services directly and instead making them slog it out in the courts for three years first.

31 January 2018

However, this is still lower than what judges had been paid in real terms in 1957, as we and Mint had reported in 2015.

15 September 2017

NLSIU Bangalore 1996 alumnus Shekhar Bobby Saraf is set to be elevated to the bench at the Calcutta high court, making national law university (NLU) history as the first NLU graduate to have made it to the higher judiciary.

27 March 2017

The pay hike would take apex and high court judges roughly back to the levels they had been paid in 1957 (adjusted for inflation), according to an analysis of decreasing salaries we had published in Mint in 2015 with Alok Prasanna Kumar (see graphic above).

24 March 2017

And here’s one of the problems with the opaque collegium and judiciary, which rarely if ever officially confirms anything to journalists, leaving reporting on the bench to often be sourced on hints and whispers.

23 February 2017

The suicide note of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister, Kalikho Pul, has landed the apex court in a bit of a dilemma, with its decision to judicially hear as a writ petition the letter written by his widow, Dangwimsai Pul, backfiring today, as we had reported.

07 February 2017

Poor Jolly-LLB 2, albeit getting lots of free but priceless publicity from spending time in court defending cases by lawyers, of all people, will now have to make four cuts in order to satisfy a bench of the Bombay high court.

06 February 2017

The law ministry has asked Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra in a letter to help it create a list of lawyers who are willing to act pro bono in cases, which could end up being “one of the proposed yardstick (sic) to be considered for appointment as Judges of High Courts”.

17 November 2016

Arepalli Naga Babu - a former Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) scholar and 2016-graduate of NLU Odisha - has won the right to take a judicial services exam with additional time to compensate for his disability, after initially having been denied to even sit for the exam in the first place.

29 September 2016

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested senior Tis Hazari judge Rachna Tiwari Lakha while accepting a Rs 4 lakh bribe from an advocate in a case she was hearing, according to CBI sources as reported by PTI.

22 July 2016

Dwarka district court judge PS Malik was hospitalised today after an alleged unsuccessful suicide attempt by overdosing on sleeping pills, after an accusation by a colleague on 20 July that he had raped her repeatedly since January 2016, reported media.

15 July 2016

In most years, the annual Joint Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Ministers gets barely a passing mention in media outlets and is forgotten soon after. This year it was different.

28 June 2016

The ongoing row over the allotment of Andhra-origin judges to subordinate courts in Telangana took an even more serious turn today with the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad suspending eight more state judges.

27 June 2016

Taking serious note of the protest by Telangana state judges, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad on Monday suspended two judges.

27 August 2015

District and Sessions Judge, Bilaspur, Mahadev Katulkar was allegedly threatened to deliver a verdict in favour of a man in a divorce case, prompting the police to step-up his security...

“As per the complaint, the judge received an SMS from an unknown number threatening him to deliver verdict in favour the man involved in a divorce case,” Inspector General of Police, Bilaspur Range, Pawan Deo said.

reported PTI.

25 August 2015

The Delhi high court on 21 August 2015 released the final merit result of candidates prepared by the selection committee after the selection process started in June 2014.

19 August 2015

Justice CS Karnan of the Madras high court sought 12 weeks’ time to reply to a petition alleging “intemperate observations” made by him against the Madras high court Chief Justice SK Kaul, reported PTI.

According to the PTI, Karnan had written to the registrar general of the Supreme Court and said: “I sought funds from the Madras high court and the same is under process on the file of Administrative Committee now pending three months.”

The Madras high court had petitioned against Karnan at the Supreme Court when on 16 April, 2015 he had passed a suo motu order questioning the nomination of one of the high court judges, Justice V Dhanapalan, to the selection committee for the recruitment of 162 civil judges.

Karnan had also passed an interim order in a suo motu writ petition dated 30 April 2015 where in he had threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against his high court’s chief justice SK Kaul for allegedly interfering with his judicial order by orders on the administrative side.

The Supreme Court stayed the interim order and restrained Karnan from hearing or passing any order related to the writ petition.

Karnan had submitted to the Supreme Court that the registrar general of the Madras high court was not a party in the case but he had filed a petition before the Supreme Court and obtained an interim stay.

He submitted that his contention in that order passed by him suo motu was that produced “bogus educational certificates and on the basis of his clandestine behaviour attained the post of High Court Judge at Madras high court”.

He said that the order of the Supreme Court was “poignantly unusual” and sought to adjourn the case for 12 weeks.

18 August 2015

The PTI reported the law ministry releasing data that:

according to the latest data compiled by the Law Ministry, as on [1 August], the high courts were facing a shortage of 384 judges as against the approved strength of 1017. Thus, the 24 high courts are functioning with a working strength of 633 judges.

As on [1 May], there was a shortage of 366 judges in the high courts.

The Supreme Court is currently deliberating whether the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) is constitutional. In the meantime, new appointments to high courts have effectively been stalled.

27 July 2015

Because the union government has ordered enquiry into allegations of foul play in the Delhi lower judicial services exam (DJS) 2014, two Delhi high court judges whose relatives cleared the DJS 2014 should not be assigned cases in which the union of India is a party, or these judges should be transferred, argued the Rohini bar association president, as reported by LiveLaw.

The association president Inder Singh Saroha wrote a letter to Delhi high court chief justice G Rohini stating:

to maintain the faith and confidence in the judiciary, it is absolutely necessary that the two sitting HC judges, whose kin have been reported to have cleared the said examination, should not be assigned cases in which union government is one of the parties as these judges could be influenced by the union government, which is stated to have ordered an enquiry into the matter. Or if possible judges be posted out of Delhi so that they may not influence the independent enquiry into the scam.

A number of candidates who did not clear the DJS exam this year filed right to information requests and made allegations of foul play in the conduct of the exam, suggesting that relatives of sitting judges had cleared the exam with help from the Delhi high court, as reported by Legally India.