Need to tweek collegium system of appointment: Lokur

Justice Lokur said that he is disappointed that the December 12 decision of the collegium was not uploaded on the website

I am disappointed that the Collegium resolution was not uploaded on the website,” he said, speaking here during an interaction with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on the 'State of Judiciary'.

Former Justice Madan B Lokur on Wednesday said he was disappointed that the Supreme Court collegium's resolution for the elevation of Delhi HC chief justice Rajendra Menon and Rajasthan HC chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog were not put on the website.

The resolution was subsequently changed post his retirement on December 30 to recommend the names of Karnataka HC chief justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Delhi HC judge, Justice Sanjiv Khanna on the basis of “additional materials”.

“I am disappointed that the collegium resolution was not uploaded on the website,” he said, speaking here during an interaction with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on the 'State of Judiciary'.

Maintaining that the collegium system of appointment required “tweaking”, he said, he was “not privy to what happened afterwards”. He, however, asserted every chief justice of a high court cannot be expected to be a good Supreme Court judge.

“I am not sure if the materials that led the Collegium to change the resolution can be put out in public domain,” he said, saying there could be a possibility that those materials could be “defamatory in nature”.

“What is the kind of material that was there before the Collegium we don't know if that is defamatory, can those still be made public”, Justice Lokur wondered to a question if those materials be known to the general public.

Justice Lokur also agreed that the Memorandum of Procedure for the appointment of judges was silent on strict timelines in which appointment of judges was to be processed, allowing the government at the time to sit over the files.

On a query as what he achieved after “historic” press conference along three other senior most judges on January 12, 2018, against then CJI Dipak Misra, he said, “We achieved some amount of openness (in the system).”

“We had raised our issues with the then CJI not once or twice, but multiple times. And then we decided to tell the people that we have a different view from that of the CJI,” he said.

On a question if judges should interact with political executives or if judges should maintain a distance, he said, “I don't think this ivory tower business is correct. In an ivory tower, you won't know what is going on. A judge can't be a hermit.”

To a question, if judges should accept a post-retirement job, Justice Lokur said there are certain posts reserved for retired judges only like the NHRC chief or the Central Administrative Tribunal.
“However, a line has to be drawn on post-retirement jobs for judges. I would not accept any governorship or nomination to Rajya Sabha,” he said.

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Need to tweek collegium system of appointment: Lokur

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