Former CJI R M Lodha Reminded of his Suggestion made to the PMs During his Retirement in 2014 for a System to Prevent Judges from Engaging in Post-Retirement Jobs

R M Lodha, former CJI of India says that only the persons who choose for full salary shall be listed for being selected for some posts that needs retired Judges. For the purpose of invalidating the chance of post retirement aspirations that influence the pronouncement of judgment when the judge is about to retire, Justice Lodha suggested a basic proposal to prevent the judges who are about to retire from the chains of the desire to have post retirement jobs.

Last day, Lodha reminded the Government of his proposal to introduce a new system for the retiring judges of High Courts and Supreme Court. He said that he had already expressed his opinion to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to introduce a system where the judges shall be given the option either to choose full salary  for another 10 years subsequent to retirement or get pension according to law. The judges who opt to have full salary shall be listed for the posts that needs a retired Judge. But this shall be introduced with a proviso that the judges who choose full salary is exempted from taking private jobs like arbitration, mediation etc. He also brought to the notice of the PM that those judge who opt for pension shall be made ineligible to be appointed in any of the posts that requires retired judges. The main idea behind such a suggestion was to insulate judges from taking up jobs after retirement.

Lodha also said that such a system will prevent the judges from moving behind the politicians for such profitable jobs by remaining in the list. He further added that in 2014 during the farewell he made the same suggestion to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. Hon’ble Justice expressed his dislike towards the present practice in the judicial system. The Government have to take initiative to implement such a system to make out judiciary more honest and dependable. As the number of judges retiring each year is less in number, the Government will not have any additional burden. After that a panel can be made listing the judges at both State and National level. Justice Lodha had himself refrained from taking up jobs at tribunals or other quasi-judicial body at least for 2 years.

Adv. Jewel Panicker