Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that the government would go by the convention in appointment of next Chief Justice of India, which is made on recommendation of outgoing head of judiciary.
“The sitting CJI always recommends the name of his successor. There is no reason to doubt our intention. There is a convention in place. Let them first make the recommendation,” he said on question if Justice Ranjan Gogoi would be appointed as the next CJI.
Justice Gogoi is in line of seniority to be the CJI after retirement of incumbent CJI Dipak Misra on October 2. He was one of the four senior most judges, who went public raising grievances against the CJI on January 12, on allocation of cases to select benches.
On question of finalisation of Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges in the high courts and the Supreme Court, Prasad said the interaction between the CJI and the government was on, though the norm for screening the candidates at the high court level has to be laid down.
The Minister said there was a need to have a centralised selection mechanism in the district judiciary without comprising with autonomy of the high courts as the number of vacancies in judges have gone up to 5436.
He said the National Litigation Policy was being finalised to minimise the government litigations, when there is dispute between two departments, the secretaries would sit back and resolve.
Highlighting the achievements of his ministry during the last four years of the NDA government, he said 17 Supreme Court judges and 315 high courts judges have been appointed, including the highest in the last 30 years at 126 in the year 2016. Further, 247 additional judges have been made permanent, he said. He also pointed out that the sanctioned strength of the high court judges have been raised from 906 to 1079 and of subordinate judiciary from 19,518 to 22,545.
The Minister asked women leaders Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati to support historic Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Marriages) Bill (invalidating triple talaq) 2017, passed by Lok Sabha and pending in Rajya Sabha.