When CJI slammed Modi, did he speak on a 'sub judice' matter?

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Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur has made his displeasure known several times over the delay in appointment of judges to the high courts and the Supreme Court.

The CJI has had some harsh remarks for the government both in court and over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech in which he spoke about Balochistan but did not mention the problems of the Indian judiciary.

Did CJI speak on a 'sub judice' matter?

What exactly has irked the CJI?

The CJI-Centre confrontation began when a draft of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) was submitted to him by the government on August 3, in which an outer limit of six months was prescribed for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. It also said that until a decision on the names of judges already proposed had been taken, no fresh proposals can be made by the collegium.

Exactly nine days after the Law ministry handed over the draft MoP to the CJI, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the delay in appointment of judges.

The CJI, who was presiding over the bench, said he would be forced to intervene judicially to sort out the matter. He also gave the Centre four weeks to file its reply.

Just three days later, the CJI publicly remarked that he was upset that Prime Minister Modi made no mention regarding judges' appointments during his Independence Day speech.

Senior advocate Navkesh Batra said, however, that the Judiciary expresses itself only through its judgements. A judge refrains from commenting publicly on any matter, especially matters that are sub judice before him/her. "Certainly, there must be sufficient reasons for the Hon'ble CJI to depart from the time tested tradition and judicial discipline, which has worked well, and that too by commenting on the PM's address to the nation on Independence Day", Batra said.

The Union Law Ministry received recommendations for the appointment of some 73 judges between July 30 and August 3. Justice Thakur retires in January.

Oneindia News

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