The Supreme Court has turned down the Centre’s request seeking a panel of names of its recently-retired judges to head a proposed committee for reviewing cases of corruption pending in courts across India for more than a decade.
The snub from the SC came in the form of a terse poser to the government, in which the top court has asked for the rule to be specified under which the names of retired judges have been sought for this post-retirement assignment.
The department for personnel and training (DoPT) has now asked the law ministry to draft a reply to the queries posed by the secretary general of the SC.
“The request was based on sound precedents since top level committees are to be headed by individuals of impeccable integrity. We hope to convince the SC on the administrative side with our reply,” said a top law ministry official.
The government had initiated the exercise following a recommendation from the group of ministers (GoM) headed by Pranab Mukherjee.
“The GoM had decided that corruption cases pending trial for more than 10 years may be reviewed by a committee headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court,” stated an internal government note.
“In view of the huge pendency of cases in trial courts, such a proposed committee may make a recommendation about the speedy disposal or withdrawal of cases pending for more than a decade,” the note stated.
The CBI had informed the GoM that “there are reportedly more than 2400 cases pending trial for over 10 years.” The GoM had also recommended that the panel should have an ex-CVC, retired CBI director and a civil society representative as panel members.