CJI Khehar also denies his son is on any state government panel
The Independence Day ceremony at the Supreme Court lawns today became a venue of some “polite” exchange between Supreme Court Bar Association President R S Suri and Chief Justice J S Khehar regarding children of judges or retired judges becoming judges and “80% of government panels being filled with sons and daughters of judges.
It all started when SCBA President Suri in his speech while reminding Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Chief Justice J S Khehar who were on the dais “several matters of concern” said "then there is one issue again an empirical..that why most of the judges who become HC judges are sons of previous judges. Why is that 80% of panels are filled with sons and daughters of the judges? These things are there but some empirical but some logical things have to be there so that we give some chance for other people also to come up the ladder because they are able and capable”
“We have excellent relationship with the judiciary but we have to be given our due. Both bench and bar while upholding value must uphold value of each other. We address the bench as ‘My Lord’ its my Lords duty to take care of its Bar”, he added.
CJI KHEHAR ON HIS SON
When his turn came, CJI Khehar termed it as a “left handed compliment” and said “About a few months ago I woke up one morning reading a newspaper. It said CJI’s son appointed on a panel of government. I asked him “Son, Are you on the government panel ? He said “No . I am not on panel. He said there is another Khehar on panel and they assumed it is me”.
Then I asked “Did you get a letter from the government appointing you?” He said no. I asked him if he takes briefs from the government he said, no. so what appears as a misuse of authority may not be a misuse of authority Mr President (Suri).
The CJI said but there are very bright children of judges too and if they had caliber, there is nothing wrong in them becoming judges.
"There are good, bright, able children, whether they are children of judges or not, in Independent India we stand together to achieve whatever we can achieve.”
SC LAWYERS AS HC JUDGES
Suri told the CJI and Law Minister: “I have been saying with polite words and say again politely to the Chief justice and law minister that in Supreme Court we have the best of lawyers. Recruit the best lawyers here for HC judgeship rather than waiting for somebody to give suggestions. If they come into judiciary they will upgrade the level”
SCBA President Suri said “despite some differences , a number of judges have been appointed. Justice Khehar also said issue of chamber will be taken up and he also gives constant suggestions to improve library. He always asks what can I do for the Bar”.
Suri said judiciary and executive has worked to bring back judiciary from near paralysis of justice and soon therefore we will have adequate number of judges.
Here is the Full Text of SCBA President RS Suri's Speech
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, the Chief Justice of India, My Lords Hon’ble Judges of the Apex Court, Mr. K.K Venugopal, Attorney General for India, Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Solicitor General of India, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology, Hon’ble Judges, Mr. Gopal Singh, President Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association, Registrars and their colleagues, Law Officers, his excellencies, my entire Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association, my distinguished colleagues at the Bar, eminent guests, media houses, my brothers and sisters of this beautiful nation, ladies and gentleman;
A VERY HAPPY 71st INDEPENDENCE DAY!
The CJI is a man who acts as per Geeta and believes in karma and does not worry about the consequences because he knows it's his duty. He has always asked the Bar, what more can be done.
The LawMinister is himself an advocate and has been part of the history by taking a bullet on him.The attorney general is dyon of the Bar with great vision and I have had the privilege in working with him as Vice President SCBA.
59 years have gone by since the Tricolor proudly flies on this building and each and every time while ascending these steps and entering this Court, it still brings me a proud and a really blissful feeling of how independence permeates the Indian fabric. Today is a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning – signifying renewal, as well as change.
What does this Tricolor flag mean to you? I request you all to turn around and take a look at the flag behind you for a second…… I am sure each one of you would relate our flag with something. To me this flag depicts the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters, so that we can hoist this flag with pride and never let it down. It was Mahatma Gandhi who proposed this flag to the Indian National Congress in 1921. The flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya. In the centre is the traditional Ashoka Chakra also called as ‘samay’ chakra since it has 24 spokes, signifying the 24 hours of a day. The Chakra signifies that there is a life in 'Movement' and 'Death' in stagnation. The process of the wheel stands for cycle or the self repeating process with the changing of time in our life. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward & forward. It has 24 spokes radiating from the center; with each and every spoke representing a different meaning. The saffron stands for sacrifice and renunciation, the white stands for peace, honesty and purity and the green stands for the faith, fertility, and prosperity of the nation.
It is almost poetic that the Supreme Court was moved from the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building where it sat till 1958 before moving to the present building, projecting the image of the scales of justice; as if telling us ‘the lawyers’, the true meaning of independence. It symbolizes the constitutional dream of the Preamble to achieve justice in all aspects; economic, political and social.
This day, Ladies and Gentlemen, is an occasion to refine and rebuild the national character. The year 1942 to 1947 were the decisive years of India’s Independence, and now these five years from 2017 to 2022, when we will celebrate the 75th year of Independence, will play a decisive role for the future of India.
PM Narendra Modi Ji in his 34th edition of his Mann KiBaat last month has called upon its citizens of India to observe Independence Day as ‘Sankalp Parva’ & urged them to dedicate themselves to social causes and share their ideas to create a new India. He further said “let us come together and resolve: DIRT-Quit India, POVERTY-Quit India, TERRORISM- Quit India, CASTEISM- Quit India.
This Day also reminds me of the partition. On 2 June 1947 Jinnah, in a white linen suit and striped tie, posed around a table with Nehru, the Sikh leader Baldev Singh, and the Viceroy of India; behind them was a map of India, shortly to be divided. Publically partition was assented; which was carried out in haste causing millions of deaths and displacing many. The former Vice President Mr. Ansari, had expressed his concerns for the Muslims in our country. I sometimes wish that we all could have one culturewhich unites us, while still practicing our individual beliefs. A common cultural acceptance like say of sufism would add a silver lining to independent India. “Prince Dara Shikoh the Sufi son of the Mogul Emporer Shah Jahan, was able to affirm that Sufism and Advaita Vendantism (Hinduism) are essentially the same, with a surface difference in terminology.” You may pardon me for such thoughts and expressing them at this podium; but I’m a chronic optimist.
The Indian Freedom Struggle was one of the largest democratic movements against imperialism and colonialism. ‘Bapu’ combined in himself the role of a socio-religious reformer and a leader of nationalist movement. Unlike a Stalin or a Mao, who tried to change the imagination of their people by wielding state power, Gandhi used imagination to try to change the nature of power and State. Bapu gave a clarion call ‘KarengeYa Marenge’ but today it is ‘Karenge aur kar ke rahenge’.Mahatma Gandhi evolved and developed a powerful non-violent method, giving it the name Satyagraha. He learnt his faith in non-violence from Jainism. The Bible gave him the sermon not to hurt anybody’s heart. It also taught him to love and to do well to the others. Gita taught him to render selfless service. From David Thoreau, he borrowed the idea of civil disobedience and from Leo Tolstoy the idea of solving problems with love.
No doubt it was him, who organized the movement on mass basis and tried his best to unite both Hindus and Muslims, uplift the economic and social status of the untouchables. Gandhi's influence on the Muslim population was remarkable. This was evident in his involvement in the Khilafat Movement.
Bapu being a lawyer and with great legal education was able to cast a revolution. Planned and diverse Legal education would produce good lawyers to the society, having a vision for India; i.e India as a developed nation, powerful nation and not only being a member of the Security Council but as being a leader of the world economy.
My concern is that we are training young lawyers to become the 20th century and not the 21st century lawyers. I accept that we must carry on equipping tomorrow’s lawyers with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to perform to the highest of standards as expert trusted advisers and in-house counsel, but we are neglectful of our students and of tomorrow’s clients and if we do not extend our training to encompass other new disciplines that will be central to the delivery of legal services in the future – such as legal risk management, legal project management, legal knowledge engineering, and legal process analysis then we are surely DOOMED.
There is an urgent need for all the political parties to come together on one page on few dangerous issues which are a threat to our Independence. The history with Pakistan, the cold war with China and the co-operation between them is a major concern for our country. Political parties have been an inevitable outgrowth in representative electoral democracies. Despite anti-party sentiments of George Washington, Lord Bolingbroke, Mahatma Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narayan, the historical experience, at least thus far, suggests that a system of representative democracy cannot do without them. Yet, creeping corruption and authoritarianism in Democratic Party governments have occasionally caused civil society interventions or popular mass movements for greater participation in party-political processes and governance.
As per the recent data available, the total number of MPs/MLAs with declared criminal cases against themselves in a self-sworn affidavit filed with the ECI is 1581 i.e. about 33% of the total MPs/MLAs analyzed. This issue of decriminalization of politics is subjudice so I won’t say much about it, but it’s high time that we have ministers with clean antecedents.
One of the basic features of the Constitution is the separation of powers. If the legislature and executive perform its job, the judiciary will never cross the Laxman rekha. For distinct separations of the powers between these 3 pillars, each & every pillar has to play its role; and if 1 pillar falls weak, the other pillar would have to branch out its support to the other.
We as lawyers, follow the Law of Limitation strictly; however the legislature representing 800 million people have pioneered in wasting public resources i.e. the time and money of the House during debates.
The Manual of Parliamentary Procedure in India has recommended a time limit of 15 days for framing rules, after publication of approval in the official gazette. However, only 34% (15 of 44 laws analysed) adhered to the time limit, while 49% of laws took 15-60 days in the Lok Sabha and 56% in the Rajya Sabha.
The role of Parliament is to hold the government of the day, whichever party is in power, accountable for its actions, policies.' The cost of delay in policy-making is huge and that affects the entire nation.
The Lack of attendance/quorum is another problem which makes the legislature feeble. Quite a few MPs are seen to be frequently absent from the house. The Constitution provides for disqualification of a MP if he/she is absent continuously for 60 days without permission. Hence MPs submit leave applications when they are absent for a longer period of time. In the 16th LokSabha, 46 leave applications were submitted which together sought a leave of 1448 days.
The EXECUTIVE too has failed. The white babu’s have gone for the corrupt browns to rule. The executive machinery failed to achieve the basic aims of the Constitution; to eradicate mass poverty and illiteracy, to improve the standard of health and general well-being and to promote equality. The civic bodies need to gear up in managing the transport, the health, the education, water and electricity departments; which is the basic need of an individual. Till the time we don’t have managed traffic, good health and sanitary, safe drinking water; we cannot say ‘Make in India’.
In order to tackle the black economy, the triad of corrupt politicians, businessmen, and the executive has to be dismantled. Even if one of these three wings is undermined, the triad will collapse. It is only a good system which can be enforced only by the executive to make India a developed nation.
The CJI Justice Khehar, rightly said once that no progress can be made if the judiciary is not efficient. The judiciary no doubt has preserved the basic structure of the Constitution and I strongly feel that the judicial over reach has rather been beneficial. Justice is like oxygen which cannot be noticed and is constantly required. PIL being a great innovation having branched out to almost every issue; has waved in pivotal public issues. However, if the legislature and the executive do what is to be done; then why would we need a PIL?
Yes, we do need transparency in appointment of judges, we do need uniformity in criminal law; a bail in one court may not mean a bail in the other court, we need to reduce the pendency and delay in matters and above all we do need the faith of the common man in the scales of Justice.
Why can’t we appoint lawyers from this court to be appointed as High Court judges? They are trained by the best and are absorbing from the best. Why can’t we develop India more as an ADR hub, to avoid the pendency and delay? Why do we have such opaque methodology of appointment of judges in Tribunals; where the non judicial membe