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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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SC collegium decides: Freeze on new postings till subsequent CJI takes over

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THE Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, met Wednesday and determined to not make any suggestion for the appointment of judges till the subsequent CJI, Justice U U Lalit, takes over later this month.

Hours after the assembly, the Secretariat of the CJI mentioned that it has acquired a communication at 9.30 pm, dated August 3, from the Union Law Minister requesting the CJI to “recommend the name of his successor”.

At the collegium assembly, it’s learnt that some members expressed their opinion that it could be extra prudent to attend till the subsequent CJI takes over for the appointments to be advisable for top courts and the Supreme Court. CJI Ramana is about to retire on August 26.

According to established conference, the collegium doesn’t make any contemporary suggestion for such appointments as soon as the incumbent CJI recommends his successor and probably the most senior decide is known as the CJI-designate.

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As per the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), which is the doc governing the method of appointment of judges and appointment of the subsequent CJI, the Law Minister asks the outgoing Chief Justice of India to suggest the subsequent CJI.

The MoP states that the Chief Justice of India ought to be “the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office”.

The MoP states that the CJI’s views have to be sought “at the appropriate time” however doesn’t specify a timeline for the method — conventionally, the method takes place a month earlier than the retirement of the incumbent CJI.

When Justice Ramana took over as CJI on April 24, 2021, the Law Minister had written to then CJI S A Bobde on March 20, 2021. Justice Bobde is learnt to have written again recommending Justice Ramana on March 24, 2021.

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If appointed, Justice U U Lalit, who’s probably the most senior decide of the Supreme Court, can have a tenure of three months earlier than retiring on November 8, 2022.

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