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Report No. 80

Question No. 13

(a) Seven High Courts agree with the suggestion in the Question (that the normal convention should be to appoint the seniormost Judge as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). Of these, five High Courts state (or imply) that there should be no departure from the convention, according to the sixth High Court, there should be no departure unless approved by two-third of the Chief Justices of the High Courts. According to the seventh High Court, there should be no departure from the convention unless approved by the proposed Commission.

(b) As to the replies of individual Judges, some Judges of one High Court agree with the suggestion in the question. In the other High Court, two Judges agree with the suggestion in the Question, but they add that in case of a departure from the convention, other five seniormost Judges should be consulted.

(c) A very eminent jurist is of the view that in the context of the situation where the Government of the day cannot be trusted to act in accordance with the spirit of Article 124(2), at least five seniormost Judges should be consulted. Further when appointment of the Chief Justice of India is to be from outside the Supreme Court, all Chief Justices of the High Courts should be consulted. As to appointment of a Supreme Court Judge, all Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts should be consulted.



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