Offering Chairmanship of SHRC to a Former CJ is not a badge of servitude or of slavery or an outcome of quid pro quo: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]

Offering Chairmanship of SHRC to a Former CJ is not a badge of servitude or of slavery or an outcome of quid pro quo: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]


Offering the post to a former Chief Justice is not a badge of servitude or of slavery or an outcome of quid pro quo. The acceptance of such an office by a former Chief Justice is his personal opinion and cannot be a matter of judicial review on such apprehensions that have been expressed by the petitioner, the Bench said.


Dismissing the challenge against appointment of former Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh and Allahabad High Court to the post of State Human Right Commission Chairman, the Allahabad High Court said that offering the post to a former Chief Justice is not a badge of servitude or of slavery or an outcome of quid pro quo. Division Bench comprising of Justices Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Attau Rahman Masoodi, said that the acceptance of such an office, which is not an employment under the Government, by a former Chief Justice is his personal opinion and cannot be a matter of judicial review.

Context

The petitioner had contended that the state government’s offer to former Chief Justice, who presently occupies office of Central Administrative Tribunal as well, is to seek favour and such an appointment later on obliges the occupant of the office to favour the ruling party. The petitioner also contended that the appointment was impermissible keeping in view of bar of Section 11(a) of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985

Chairmanship of SHRC is not an employment under Government

The court observed that recommendation of a Chairperson is not for an employment under the Government or even under the control of the Government of the State and the prohibition in Section 11(a) of the Administrative Tribunals Act is only against an employment under the Government of the State or the Centre. “There is no other control or supervision over the exercise of authority after the appointment of a Chairperson so as to construe that the Chairperson becomes subject to employment or a functionary under the State Government. The State Government also does not have the authority to remove the Chairperson. This also reflects that there is no control by the State Government over the appointment or continuance of the Chairperson. There is no contract of service as understood under service jurisprudence”, the court said.

Offering the post, not outcome of quid pro quo

Rejecting the arguments of the petitioner, the court said that offering the post to a former Chief Justice is not a badge of servitude or of slavery or an outcome of quid pro quo and it is in view of the status of a former Chief Justice which is the choice of the legislature to occupy the office of the Chairperson. The arguments advanced are to close in probably a theme of a moral judgment and not on any objective assessment of the black letter law. The acceptance of such an office by a former Chief Justice is his personal opinion and cannot be a matter of judicial review on such apprehensions that have been expressed by the petitioner, the Bench said.

Read the Judgment here.