1-year Tenure for HC Chief Justices to go in Bid to Give Judges Fair Chance at Top Job

Law Ministry, however, reduced the fixed tenure to one year as it thought two years was too long and hence not practical.

Published: 11th April 2016 01:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2016 01:50 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided against a one-year fixed tenure for Chief Justices of High Courts amid concerns that those with less time left before retirement might fail to land the top job despite an impressive track record.  

The Department of Justice had proposed a two-year fixed term for High Court chief justices while drafting the revised memorandum of procedure, a document which guides appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

A fixed long tenure, the department felt, would help chief justices concentrate on the administrative side of their duties like improving case management system.

The Ministry of Law, however, reduced the fixed tenure to one year as it thought two years was too long and hence not practical.

Judges are appointed as Chief Justices of High Courts and elevated to the Supreme Court based mainly on their seniority. While retirement age for a Supreme Court judge is 65 years, it is 62 in High Courts.

The issue of fixed tenures, however, came up for discussion at a recent meeting of the Group of Ministers, which is headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.  While some of the members of the Group of Ministers favoured a fixed tenure, others opposed the idea on the ground that those nearing the retirement age of 62 and having less than a year to go may lose out despite an impressive track record. There was also a view that fixed tenure may give a “handle to certain judges to subvert the appointment of others”, sources said.  

The Group of Ministers finally decided to remove the fixed tenure clause from the memorandum of procedure.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp