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AEJAZ AHMED (Legal Consultant/Lawyer)     07 January 2009

Can Chief Minister interfere in selection of judges in an undemocratic way


Legal bodies came down heavily on West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for his reported comment on the names of some lawyers which were recommended by the Calcutta High Court Chief Justice to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil for selecting judges of the High court.

Mr Bhattacharya, in a recent letter to the Union Law Minister, expressed his doubts about professional credibility, educational qualifications of four of the lawyers whose names were sent to the President.

The century old Calcutta High court, having a backlog of more than three lakh cases, has a shortage of 19 judges with the approved strength of 58.

Mr Bhaskar Sen, Secretary of Calcutta High Court, the oldest legal body, said the CM’s letter was highly objectionable as the state government had no role in selecting judges of the High Court.

‘We are sorry to say that such a remark was unbecoming of the Chief Minister’.

Mr Sen also said the four lawyers, whose names were questioned by the Chief Minister have requisite qualifications and professional credibility to be selected as judges.

Calcutta High Court Bar Association Secretary Ashish Roy said it was unexpected of a Chief Minister of a democratically elected government.

‘We wonder how a sensible Chief Minister can interfere in selecting judges in that undemocratic way,’ he quipped.

Mr Roy said they would sit on Friday to decide their future course of action.


 11 Replies

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     07 January 2009

I slightly differ. If we say that we are living in democracy, every one has right and freedom to express himself. Whether the remarks are justified or not is a different question. May be that the CM had some knowledge/experience about those persons. We have noticed how recommendations of unworthy people were made in the past by the HC.


I totally disappointed with the present system of appointing judges.  The panel of judges from the Supreme Court and the concerned chief justice of the High Court decide who should be the High Court Judge.  Similarly, in the appointment of S.C. Judge als, most undemocratically, the panel of S.C. judges themselves decided. There is no investigative agency to aid this panel to dig the back ground of the judge.  Hence, most of the High Court judges and Supreme Court judges are becoming due to their connections.  Even the lawyers' bodies, bar council and/or bar association is also not allowed to put its suggestions. The ruling party in power, indirectly exercise some power but the opposition party waits for its turn to use such influence.  Due to this faulty method, the corruption in judiciary is increasing. 

The proper method of selecting S.C. and H.C. judges is to form a National Commission consisting of 2 to 3 SC Judges, H.C.Chief Justice (while considering the appointment of that particular High Court), Central Law Minister, The Opposition leader or one person nominated by that party, one from All India bar Council, one from State Bar Council and two to three independent and intellectual legal luminaries with highest integrity.  This body will appoint judges.  This is roughly my suggestion. 

Prabhakar (M)9958670740

PALNITKAR V.V. (Lawyer)     07 January 2009

If we go through the appointments we will find that in pretty good number of cases, the appointee is either related to some HC or SC judge or is related to some political personality. Some times I fear that we are heading towards old system of Dynasty everywhere

B.N.Rajamohamed (advocate / commissioner of oaths)     07 January 2009

The chief minister being the head of state legislature cannot and should not disturb the independence of judiciary. The judges of the high courts and the supremecourt of India will be selected through the collegium of judges which will be approved and declaired by the president of India. If the chief ministers intervention is allowed then the entire judiciary will be politicised and the courts will become a domain for the white collar and blue collar criminals.

S.PRANOYSHUBHRA (Advocate)     08 January 2009

Being a lawyer practising in Calcutta High Court for the last few years I can only add that they are really one of the best counsels we have in the Calcutta High Court and their elevation would only create problems for the Clients who are really dependent on them.

I am really happy to have Mr. Bhattacharya as the CM who has really done lot for the state where people dont really want to work and I am confident that he has been briefed wrongly about them by his advisor or else had he known them personally he would never ever make such a comment.

Rajesh Kumar (Advocate)     08 January 2009

I think independence of judiciary and selection of judges are different issues:

Can we say parliament is not independent because, future parliamentarians are not choosen by present parliamentarians or Chief Election Commissioner is not independent because he is not choosen by outgoing CEC.

There are very valid agrguments against selection of judges by collegium. For example it discriminates against lawyers practicing in district and tehsils. How many lawyers from practicing in district courts are elevated to High Court. Do we think there are no talented lawyer in district court.

Let the higher judiciary itself gives a proposal which appears non discriminatory, equal and open to scrutiny (open to scrutiny means open to improvement) and judges be selected through that process. That judiciary will command more respect.

B.B.R.Goud. ( Faculty)     24 February 2009

The Judiciary is an independent in it's jurisdiction. where as the selection of judges, the person having knowledge and experience can express his views and he can critically evaluate. in such a democratic nation, Art 19, enjoing the freedom of expressing the views, why not the CM can express his views and recommendations with his reliable knowledge and experience?

B.B.R.Goud. ( Faculty)     24 February 2009

the views and recommendations to the extent, which shall not violate the provisions of the constitution of india.

A.Mohamed Thaheer (ADVOCATE)     03 April 2009

Being a responsible Chief Minister, he has raised some doubts so that the Judiciary will take double check verification, and this right is not at all  unconstitutional

Mohit Attri (lawyer)     03 April 2009

if once that judge"s appointed then undoubtfully it will become like as a precedent for another CM'S. so this step may be dangerous for judiciary in futhure.

Kiran Kumar (Lawyer)     03 April 2009

dear frnds, we live in India....and how the selections are made and why the selections are made are known to everyone.

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