Retired judges with “doubtful integrity” cannot be appointed as presidents of state consumer commissions and it is the prerogative of the judiciary to decide on the appointments, the Supreme Court has held.
Interpreting Section 16 of the Consumer Protection Act, the apex court said the legislation imposes a limitation on the power of both the State as also the Chief Justice in the matter of appointments.
“The facts relevant for such an appointment must be placed before both the statutory authorities. One of such fact is that an additional judge, for one reason or the other was found not fit to be made permanent or to be given an extension of his tenure. Indisputably, a person having doubtful integrity should neither be recommended by the high court nor appointed by the state government,” the apex court observed.
The court passed the observation in a judgement while upholding the Madras High Court’s decision to quash the appointment of N Kannadasan as president of the Tamil Nadu State Consumer Commission.
Kannadasan, who retired as an additional judge of the Madras High Court, was made president of the State Consumer Commission by the state government on July 26, 2008.
His appointment was challenged in the high court by some persons on the ground that he was not confirmed as a permanent judge due to his alleged doubtful integrity and hence his appointment was improper.