Has outgoing CJI Lodha just rejected Government's offer to become Lokpal?

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41st Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, retired on Friday
The 41st Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, retired on Friday, and shocked all by saying he has no plans of a 'second innings' post-retirement. He also suggested that judges should not take any constitutional or other position at least two years after demitting office.

Putting an end to Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi's remark that he will soon assume a second innings, the outgoing CJI said that for him his independence is important. Justice Lodha's comments come just days after a massive controversy erupted over his predecessor S Sathasivam taking up the post of Kerala Governor.

Had government planned something for Justice Lodha?

  • As per a Hindu report, AG Mukul Rohatgi said his departure from the Supreme Court was only a short interval before the beginning of his "second innings." This hints that he is being tipped for the post of Lokpal post-retirement.

Justice Lodha declined offer?

  • Replying to the AG in the same cricketing terms, the outgoing CJI said, "Rohatgi does not know that the time of two-innings cricket is over. Players are now for Twenty20 matches."

What all did Justice Lodha say?

  • Lodha asked the judges to avoid situations when there is a need to scrap the laws that require Tribunals and Commissions to be headed by judges.
  • "That is an individual choice. My view is that a Chief Justice or a judge must avoid taking any position, constitutional or otherwise--and at least must not accept that position for two years after demitting his office," Justice Lodha told Outlook magazine.

Lodha is known for speaking out his mind

  • The outgoing CJI is known for speaking out his mind on issues.
  • His comments assume significance in the context of controversy over his predecessor S Sathasivam taking up the post of Kerala Governor recently.
  • Asked whether it is alright for judges to accept gubernatorial posts, Justice Lodha said whether it is CJI, or a Supreme Court judge or a High Court Chief Justices, post-retirement assignments must be avoided.

What did he say about his tenure as CJI?

  • On his five months as CJI, Justice Lodha said he felt he was leaving it better than when he stepped in.

A few things about Justice Lodha

  • Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha was became Chief Justice of India on April 27, 2014.
  • Justice Lodha (64) was the senior-most judge of the apex court after CJI P Sathasivam.
  • Justice Lodha's name was recommended as the next CJI by Justice Sathasivam as per the collegium system. under Memorandum of Procedure which governs the appointment of members of the higher judiciary.
  • Born in Jodhpur, Justice Lodha enrolled with Bar Council of Rajasthan in February 1973.
  • He practiced Law in the Rajasthan High Court and dealt with all branches of law -- constitutional, civil, company, criminal, taxation and labour.
  • He was elevated as a Permanent Judge of the Rajasthan High Court in January 1994.
  • He was transferred to the Bombay High Court where he assumed office in February 1994.
  • Justice Lodha was transferred back to the Rajasthan High Court in February 2007.
  • He had been the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court and was chairman of State Judicial Academy.
  • He was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court on May 13, 2008 and elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on December 17, 2008.
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