Retd Allahabad HC judges seek transparency in appointments

Retired justices of the court stressed the need for immediate remedial measures and initiating a process for `house cleaning`.

Lucknow: A day after Supreme Court`s strong
indictment of the Allahabad High Court, retired justices of
the court Saturday stressed the need for immediate remedial
measures and initiating a process for "house cleaning".

Though maintaining that the indictment was in reference to
a particular case which was taken up by the Supreme Court,
they said it underlines the requirement for making appointment
and transfer policy more accountable and transparent.

"Whatever is happening in the judiciary today is the
consequence of bad appointments and there is a need to improve
it immediately," retired justice of Allahabad High Court and
secretary of Association of Retired Supreme Court and High
Court Judges Ashok Kumar Srivastava said.

"The bar and the bench both need to unitedly make efforts
to find a remedy and not allow this situation to continue,"
Justice Srivasatava said.

Stressing on proper scrutiny of the names proposed for the
appointment of judges, retired Justice H N Tilhari said
political pressures should not be allowed at any stage.

"When Justice J S Verma was the Chief Justice of India, a
house cleaning process was initiated but it could not last for
long," Justice Tilhari said, adding it needed to be revived.

On Supreme Court suggesting "transfers of the
incorrigibles," Justice Tilhari said the policy which came
into effect in 1990s should be revived.

"There was a provision of having one-third judges in the
High Court of other states but that ratio has now become
almost negligible," he said, adding, transfers were good for
judges as it enriches their experiences and widens the vision.

"The right to appointments should be solely in the hands
of the judiciary and names put forth should be debated and
their performance in the court should also be cross checked,"
Justice Srivastava added.

Retired Justice S H A Raza suggests setting-up of a
judicial commission for appointments, transfers and holding
inquiries, whenever there are complaints of misconduct, so
that the erring judges could be removed.

"Before appointment, the applicant should be called for
interaction to judge his acumen and knowledge and if there is
any complaint, he should be asked to explain it," Raza said.

He also suggests on how the "uncle judge syndrome" could
be checked. "No relative of the judges should be allowed to
practice in the same court," he said.

The former justices however feel that larger part of the
judiciary is discharging their duty in an impartial manner and
stressed the need to identify "black sheep".

They also feel that uncalled for publicity on this count
could have adverse effect and would erode people`s faith in
justice system.


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