Post-retirement conduct: Kerala High Court Chief Justice issues set of guidelines to fellow judges

The directive mandates that judges must refrain from using their chambers after the date of their retirement.
Kerala High Court.
Kerala High Court.(File photo)

KOCHI: Kerala High Court Chief Justice A J Desai on Thursday issued a set of guidelines for fellow judges to be followed upon the retirement, transfer, and elevation of High Court judges. Following the direction of the Chief Justice, Kerala High Court Registrar General P Krishna Kumar issued guidelines regarding use of chambers, uploading judgments and retaining personal staff at court and residence.

“Honourable Chief Justice on finding it imperative to have some guidelines in place in the matter of signing/uploading of orders/judgments by the time honourable judges relinquish charge in the event of retirement/transfer/elevation and as to use of chamber and retention of attached staff, has issued the guidelines,” stated the order.

The directive mandates that judges must refrain from using their chambers after the date of their retirement. The staff attached to the judge concerned are required to hand over all case records to the registry by 4.30 pm on the third day after the retirement of the judge.

Regarding uploading of the judgment, judges are requested to hand over the signed judgments and orders of all reserved cases to the registry on or before their last working day, or at the latest, by midnight on the date of their retirement. If the judgments are not ready by that time, those cases must also be handed over to the registry. The registry will place it before the bench concerned. No staff should upload any judgment or order more than three working days after the retirement of the concerned judge. The Registrar (Computerisation)-cum-director (IT) will make necessary changes in the system to ensure compliance with this procedure as per the new rules.

Similarly, judges may retain the attached staff, except co-terminus sevaks, for a period of one month and for further period after a request is placed before the CJ.

Though specific reason for issuance of new guidelines are not mentioned, there are reports that the mandate was taken in the wake of Kerala High Court Advocates Association president Yeshwanth Senoy’s complaint filed before the HC against recently retired Justice Mary Joseph.

In his plea, Shenoy had said the judge used her chamber, wrote judgments and uploaded them with the help of her staff even after retirement.

Complaint reason?

There are reports that the mandate was taken in the wake of Kerala High Court Advocates Association president Yeshwanth Shenoy’s recent complaint filed before the HC against recently retired Justice Mary Joseph

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