HomeLatest NewsJudges be allowed to decide on taking up post-retirement assignments: Justice Kaul...

Judges be allowed to decide on taking up post-retirement assignments: Justice Kaul | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With opinions sharply divided over whether former judges of constitutional courts should take up post-retirement government assignments, ex-judge of the Supreme Court Sanjay Kishan Kaul has expressed the view that those offered such employment should be allowed to take a call. “Leave it to the constitutional court judge to decide what he wants to do,” Justice Kaul said in an interview with PTI on Friday.
“There are two kinds of posts. One is tribunals where somebody has to man the tribunals. People accept such assignments. There is nothing wrong in it because that is how it has to happen,” he said.
An apex court bench headed by Justice Kaul had in September 2023 dismissed a public interest litigation seeking a mandatory cooling-off period of two years for the retired judges before they accept such assignments. The bench had said it is not for the apex court to either stop a retired judge from accepting a post-retirement offer or to direct Parliament to frame a specific law to that effect.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the Bombay Lawyers Association which voiced concern over the ramifications such appointments could have for an independent judiciary.
“I feel a person who has served for so many years would make a decision of his own as to what is to be done. The fact that I do not want to take it does not mean that somebody (else) should not…So I will leave it to the judge to decide,” Justice Kaul said during the interview with PTI.
While there is no specific rule barring judges from accepting such positions after retirement, the 14th Law Commission, headed by MC Setalvad, had recommended that judges should not take up post-retirement jobs from the government.
Such assignments include appointment to tribunals, human rights commissions, government-appointed ad hoc commissions, court-appointed committees, water tribunals, lokayukta etc.
While several judges of the apex court like former CJIs JS Khehar, RM Lodha and SH Kapadia declared they will not accept such post-retirement assignments, the nomination of former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha, barely months after his retirement, surprised many.
Gogoi had presided over benches that handled several important cases, including the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute.
The appointment of former CJI P Sathasivam as the Kerala governor in 2014 had also raised several eyebrows.

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