Report No. 72
Gist of Debates in The Constituent Assembly Relevant to Article 220 of The Constitution.
The debate on draft Article 196, which took shape ultimately as Article 220 of the Constitution, took place in the Constituent Assembly on the 7th June, 19491. Dr. Ambedkar moved an amendment to draft Article 196, proposing that for that article, the following article should be substituted:-
"196. No person who has held office as a judge of a High Court after the commencement of this Constitution shall plead or act in any court or before any authority within the territory of India."
He described it merely as a rewording of the draft article.
Sardar Hukam Singh moved that in draft Article 196, for the words "within the territory of India'", the words "within the jurisdiction of that High Court" should be substituted. He said that it was not necessary for him to make a speech, as the amendment was self-explanatory.
Shri H.V. Kamath was inclined to support the amendment of Sardar Hukam Singh, as he felt that the sweeping constitutional prohibition, as proposed in the draft article, was unwarranted and, "may I say, undemocratic".
Professor Shibban Lal Saksena referred to the English practice and was of the view that everybody who has been a Judge should be debarred from practising. He would extend the bar even to those who had been judges before the commencement of the Constitution.
Shri Mahavir Tyagi said that if lawyers were appointed as judges and, after retirement, they were also permitted to carry on their legal practice in courts, the result would be that they would stultify the great office of 'justice'; "they would use these offices as spring-boards or ladders to build much more lucrative practice after retirement".
Shri B.M. Gupte was of the view that a retired High Court judge should not be barred from practising in the Supreme Court or in other High Courts. After some discussion, Article 196, as amended, was added to the Constitution according to the amendment moved by Dr. Ambedkar. The article as adopted was as follows2:-
"196. Prohibition of practicing in courts or before any authority by a person who held office as a judge of a High Court.- No person who has held office as a judge of a High Court after the commencement of this Constitution shall plead or act in any court or before any authority within the territory of India."
To complete this discussion it may be mentioned that in the debate on draft Article 193 relating to the age of retirement of Judges3, Shri K.M. Munshi, while defending the view that the age of retirement ought to be 60 years in the case of High Court Judges, also observed4:
"The judges are not allowed to practise after retirement otherwise during the last years of his tenure there may be temptation to so behave as to attract practice after retirement."
1. C.A. Debates, Vol. 8, pp. 680 to 687 (7th June, 1949).
2. C.A. Debates, Vol. 8, p. 685 (7th June, 1949).
3. C.A. Debates, Vol. 8, pp. 668 to 675 (7th June, 1949.)
4. C.A. Debates, Vol. 8, p. 670 (7th June, 1949).