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Report No. 80

6.12. Meetings between Chief Justice and Chief Minister.-

It has become a practice in some States1 for the Chief Minister and the Chief Justice to meet together either before the Chief Justice makes a recommendation for appointment of a person to the office of the High Court judge or after he has made the requisite recommendation. Criticism has been levelled against the adoption of such practice by some persons. It is stated that sometimes what may be called a bargain is struck between the Chief Justice and the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister, it is stated, concurs with the recommendation made by the Chief Justice in return for the Chief Justice agreeing in another vacancy to sponsor the name suggested by the Chief Minister. It has, therefore, been suggested that such personal meetings between the Chief Justice and the Chief Minister should be avoided and that the whole thing should be conducted through correspondence.

We have given the matter our consideration and are of the opinion that no rigid rule should be laid down. Many difficulties which sometimes arise and which would otherwise take long to be resolved can be sorted out by a personal meeting between the Chief Justice and the Chief Minister. It would essentially depend upon the personal equation between the Chief Minister and the Chief Justice. We also find it difficult to subscribe to the view that every such meeting would result in some kind of bargaining between the Chief Justice and the Chief Minister. A Chief Justice conscious of the fact that his recommendation is based upon pure merit should have no hesitation in repelling any undue overture. At the same time, a Chief Justice should have no hesitation in paying due heed to the suggestion of the Chief Minister if he finds the same to be based upon merit.

1. Cf. 14th Report, Vol. I.



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