Nomination of ex-CJI to RS

Relevance – In March, 2020, the ex-Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India.

Important points:

  • May be categorized as a blow to the independence of the judiciary. Suspicion of ‘quid pro quo’ (as a reward by the government, the biggest litigant); “aloofness” is a most essential trait needed from the members of the executive, legislature and the judiciary.
  • Another perspective – The RS/government of the day can benefit from the experience of the ex-CJI; Previously judges of the Supreme Court of India have also joined the legislature and even political parties in some cases. 
  • Balanced conclusion – Functionaries from three segments of the government have been appointed across the segments. Any malafide cannot be directly inferred. Judges have previously been nominated to the legislature, have been made governors etc. (Mr. P. Sathasivam); people from executive are appointed to the legislature (Mr. S. Jaishanker). They may contribute using their vast experience.
  • However, cases of clear-cut ‘conflict of interest’ must be checked. Comprehensive guidelines could be formulated to include a “cooling-off period” and independent evaluation must be encouraged so that judicial independence is not disturbed.

 

Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/in-upper-house-nomination-a-fall-for-aloofness/article31101941.ece 

 

Practice Question – Despite the principle of ‘separation of powers’ enshrined in the constitution, the movement of functionaries from one organ of governance to another has been quite fluid. Do you agree? Give reasons. – 150 words. – 6-7 minutes.

Do you agree that post-retirement appointment of judges to various executive/legislative posts must be prohibited? Justify your answer. – 200 words. – 7-8 minutes

Country needs not only noisy journalists and independent judges but even independent journalists and noisy judges.  Elucidate. – 150 words. – 6-7 minutes.

Essay Topic – Country needs not only noisy journalists and independent judges but even independent journalists and noisy judges. – 1000-1200 words. – 70-80 minutes.

Important for prelims – Article 80(1)(a) read with Article 80(3) of the Constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service.