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Report No. 80

6.29. Panel of Chief Justice and four seniormost colleagues to be consulted in case of supersession.-

At the same time, we recommend that whenever it is proposed to pass over the seniormost judge for appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court, the matter should be placed before a panel consisting of the Chief Justice of India and his four seniormost colleagues. The claim of the seniormost judge for appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court should not be ignored unless the aforesaid panel finds sufficient cause for such a course. In case of difference of opinion among those constituting the panel, the view of the majority should be taken to be the view of the panel.

We are making this recommendation because criticism has been levelled on occasions that seniormost judges have been passed over in the matter of appointment of the Chief Justices of the High Courts on extraneous considerations. This has understandably created flutter and caused discontent. It is necessary to ensure that appointment to the exalted office of the Chief Justice of the High Court does not become the subject of controversy. This objective can be substantially achieved if, before passing over the seniormost judge for the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court, the matter is scrutinised by a high level panel consisting of Chief Justice of India and his four seniormost colleagues. Avoidance of controversy is also necessary to preserve the image of the High Court.



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