38.6c New Delhi, India, Thursday, April 18, 2024
Legal Insiders

Debate over political entry of retired judges

By Mahima Katal      11 March, 2024 06:14 PM      0 Comments
Debate over political entry of retired judges

New Delhi: The recent entry of Abhijit Gangopadhyay into politics, hours after resigning as a Judge of Calcutta High Court has triggered a debate over the cooling-off period for the judiciary.

Abhijit Gangopadhyay drew the attention of the entire legal fraternity as he announced his intent to resign from his position as a judge.

The dramatic revelation wasn't due to any sense of dissatisfaction with the judicial system or the pressures of the position. Rather, the judge cited his eagerness to engage in politics as the driving force behind his resignation.

Notably, Gangopadhyay had presided over key judgments that criticised the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the state. He delivered crucial verdicts that have helped uncover scams like the Bengal school recruitment scam.

While talking to the media, the former judge said, “I have been forced to take this step (to join politics) due to taunts and statements by the ruling party. A judge cannot be personally attacked. That is exactly what they had been doing. The ruling party insulted me many times. They had been constantly abusing me since many of their corrupt activities were getting revealed every day. Their taunts and statements inspired me to take this step.”

No constitutional bar on judges joining politics

Do we have a constitutionally mandated cooling-off period for judges who quit? At least not yet. Once known as the ‘people’s judge’, Gangopadhyay is not the first judge to join politics.

For example, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, who had been MLA in both Madras and Kerala was appointed to the Kerala High Court in 1968 and later became a Supreme Court judge in 1973.

Former Supreme Court Justice Baharul Islam also resigned before his retirement to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Barapeta, Assam, in 1983, and was subsequently sent to the Rajya Sabha. He had earlier also been a Rajya Sabha MP before being appointed as a judge in the Guwahati High Court.

Justice Koka Subba Rao resigned as the Chief Justice of India in 1967 after accepting the opposition’s invitation to contest the presidential elections.
Justice Guman Mal Lodha had been the president of the Rajasthan unit of the Jana Sangh before being appointed as judge to the Rajasthan high court and later even contested the Lok Sabha elections.

Justice K.S. Hegde, who had been a Rajya Sabha MP on a Congress ticket, and later resigned from the post to become a judge in the Mysore high court, and subsequently of the Supreme Court, after which he again contested elections and even became the Lok Sabha speaker in 1977.
Justices AM Thipsay, Vijay Bhauguna, M Rama Jois, Rajinder Sachar all had taken plunge into active politics after retiring as HC judges. Rajya Sabha seats have been taken by retired CJIs Ranganath Misra and Ranjan Gogoi, while gubernatorial assignments were accepted by former SC judge Fathima Beevi and ex-CJI P Sathasivam.

Supreme Court on "cooling-off period"

In 2023, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking a "cooling-off period" of two years for retired judges of the top court and high courts before they can accept political appointments.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia said the issue whether a retired judge should accept any office or not has to be left to the "better sense" of the judge concerned. The bench said it cannot go into the issue of whether an ex-judge can get elected to the Lok Sabha or nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
 



Share this article:

About:

Mahima Katal, journalist with a commitment to high-quality research, writing, and production. Proven...Read more



Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Supreme Court allows Jr. Judge appointment to woman denied the same due to dog bite case Supreme Court allows Jr. Judge appointment to woman denied the same due to dog bite case

The Supreme Court of India overturns Madhya Pradesh High Court's decision, ordering the appointment of a woman who was previously denied the position of Civil Judge (Junior Division) due to a past minor offence related to a dog bite case. The Court emphasizes fairness and justice in its landmark ruling.

Supreme Court allows Jr. Judge appointment to woman denied the same due to dog bite case Supreme Court allows Jr. Judge appointment to woman denied the same due to dog bite case

The Supreme Court of India overturns Madhya Pradesh High Court's decision, ordering the appointment of a woman who was previously denied the position of Civil Judge (Junior Division) due to a past minor offence related to a dog bite case. The Court emphasizes fairness and justice in its landmark ruling.

'Unprecedented,' 52,191 cases disposed of by Supreme Court in 2023 [Read Records] 'Unprecedented,' 52,191 cases disposed of by Supreme Court in 2023 [Read Records]

The Supreme Court has disposed of "unprecedented" 52,191 cases, including 45,642 miscellaneous matters and around 6549 regular matters, in the year 2023. Read all about this major judicial achievement here.

Chamoli District Judge suspended for obtaining woman’s call records, cleared of misconduct charge by Uttarakhand HC Chamoli District Judge suspended for obtaining woman’s call records, cleared of misconduct charge by Uttarakhand HC

Uttarakhand High Court sets aside the suspension of the Chamoli District judge accused of obtaining call detail records of a woman employee. Read more about the case here.

TRENDING NEWS

burden-to-prove-dishonest-damage-to-electric-meter-is-for-electricity-theft-is-on-the-prosecution-says-delhi-hc
Trending Judiciary
Burden to prove dishonest damage to electric meter is for electricity theft, is on the prosecution: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Delhi High Court has held that the burden to prove that a person has ‘dishonestly’ damaged an electric meter to commit electricity theft is on the prosecution.

17 April, 2024 05:41 PM

TOP STORIES

two-day-conference-on-april-on-technology-and-dialogue-between-sc-and-singapore
Trending Legal Insiders
Two-day conference on April 13-14 on Technology and Dialogue between SC and Singapore

Explore AI's role in law at the India-Singapore Supreme Court conference on technology, enhancing judicial processes and access to justice, April 13-14, 2024.

12 April, 2024 06:16 PM
lsj-exclusive-interview-how-bjp-govt-will-free-chhattisgarh-from-naxal-menace
Trending Interview
LSJ Exclusive Interview: How BJP govt will free Chhattisgarh from “Naxal menace”? [Watch Video]

What is Chhattisgarh govt's plan for solving the Maoist/Naxalite problem in the state? Will there be a surgical strike against the Naxals or solution will be found via diplomatic channels? Read the Exclusive Interview with the Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sharma.

13 April, 2024 12:33 PM
sc-rejects-review-of-order-to-pay-rs-154-cr-compensation-to-ex-air-force-staff-for-transfusion-of-hiv-infected-blood
Trending Judiciary
SC rejects review of order to pay Rs 1.54 Cr compensation to ex Air Force staff for transfusion of HIV infected blood [Read Order]

SC denies review of Rs 1.54 Cr HIV compensation order to ex-Air Force staff for medical negligence.

13 April, 2024 03:13 PM
cji-cautions-against-overlooking-ethical-legal-consideration-on-use-of-ai-in-court-adjudication
Trending Legal Insiders
CJI cautions against overlooking ethical legal consideration on use of AI in court adjudication

CJI D Y Chandrachud warns about ethical, legal challenges in AI use in courts, stressing need for thorough review.

13 April, 2024 07:08 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email