Job ‘clamour’: BJP for 2-yr break for retired judges
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There is a "clamour" for post-retirement jobs among judges of high courts and the Supreme Court, the BJP said on Sunday, suggesting that judges have a two-year cooling-off period after retirement to become eligible for appointments to commissions or tribunals.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley went to the extent of saying that as law minister in the NDA government he would be uncomfortable meeting retiring judges for fear of getting a job request.
"This clamour for post-retirement jobs is adversely affecting the impartiality of the judiciary... When I was a minister, I would be wary of meeting retiring judges for the fear that he would hand me his bio-data," Jaitley said, speaking at a conference organised by the BJP legal cell.
Party president Nitin Gadkari suggested a two-year cooling-off period. "...even before they retire, it is decided for them as to which commission they will go to... There should be a gap of two years after retirement because otherwise the government can directly or indirectly influence the courts," Gadkari said.
"I have seen some judgments recently that when tribunals are formed, retired judges should be sent there. Now through judicial verdicts post-retirement jobs are being created... We are the only country in the world where judges appoint judges. I saw a recent judgment that said that only judges should be appointed in Central Information Commission and the law should be changed. It is indirectly a direction to Parliament," Jaitley said.
"Courts can't frame laws, courts can't administer the state, courts can't fight terrorism... The tendency of the judges to follow the ballot box, the tendency of the judges to get carried away with the times, has to be avoided," he said, adding that he wasn't against longer tenure for judges.
As reported by this newspaper, of the 21 judges who have retired from the Supreme Court since January 2008, 18 have joined various commissions and tribunals.
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