Govt ‘not positive’ on CJI Gogoi’s proposal on judge’s retirement age | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Govt ‘not positive’ on CJI Gogoi’s proposal on judge’s retirement age

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Jul 06, 2019 11:31 PM IST

The Manmohan Singh government had on 25 August 2010 introduced in the Lok Sabha a constitution amendment bill to increase the retirement age of HC judges from 62 to 65 years.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has again suggested an increase in the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years to deal with a heavy backlog of cases, but the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, in its second term, still harbours reservations about the proposal, a person familiar with the matter said.

The law had amended the constitution and replaced the system of SC top judges making appointments to the judiciary, shifting the onus onto the proposed six-member NJAC, which was to be headed by the CJI.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
The law had amended the constitution and replaced the system of SC top judges making appointments to the judiciary, shifting the onus onto the proposed six-member NJAC, which was to be headed by the CJI.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Gogoi had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, suggesting, among other measures, an increase the retirement age for high court judges, the person said on condition of anonymity, adding that the government is concerned that any such move may trigger similar demands from other quarters of the judiciary. “We are ‘not positive’ about it,” the person quoted above said. “If we agree to it, there could be similar demands from Supreme Court and lower courts. A final decision, however, is to be taken at the level of the PM.”

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The Manmohan Singh government had on 25 August 2010 introduced in the Lok Sabha a constitution amendment bill to increase the retirement age of HC judges from 62 to 65 years.

The Bill could not be taken up for consideration and passing in Parliament and lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.

As of January 31 this year, 4,245, 775 cases were pending with 24 high courts.As of December 28 last year, 388 posts of judges were vacant in the high courts.

The person quoted above said government alone wasn’t responsible for the vacancies in the high courts, noting that the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014, passed by Parliament in August 2014, had been struck down by the Supreme Court in October 2015 as “unconstitutional”.

The law had amended the constitution and replaced the system of SC top judges making appointments to the judiciary, shifting the onus onto the proposed six-member NJAC, which was to be headed by the CJI. “The judiciary should have agreed to the NJAC,” he said, adding it could have solved a lot of issues.

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