Delhi, 7 Dec: Putting an end to all speculations, Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur on Tuesday recommended the name of seniormost Supreme Court Judge Jagdish Singh Khehar for the CJI after his retirement.
The Sources in the government told The Indian Express that the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad received the CJI’s letter.
Justice Khehar, 64, is likely to be appointed as the CJI on January 4 and will be the first Sikh who will held the designation of CJI of the country.
His tenure is scheduled to be completed on August 28, 2017.
In September, 2011 He was elevated as a judge in the Supreme court of India.
According to the Sources it has learnt that the Law Minister had written to the CJI last month, asking him to recommend the name of his successor.
There are speculations that the government will process Justice Khehar’s name soon and a formal notification regarding his appointment as CJI will be issued once the President grants his assent.
In October 2015, Justice Khehar headed the five-judge bench that ruled in favour of the collegium system of appointment of judges, striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act which was brought by the Narendra Modi led union government as unconstitutional.
“The sensitivity of selecting Judges is so enormous, and the consequences of making inappropriate appointments so dangerous, that if those involved in the process of selection and appointment of Judges to the higher judiciary, make wrongful selections, it may well lead the nation into a chaos of sorts,” Justice Khehar had asserted in his judgment.
Besides, in this judgment, he had further mentioned that 13 Governors of states resigned in no time after the NDA government had come to power in May last year, and added: “One wonders, whether all these resignations were voluntary.” The judge said that a large number of persons, holding high positions in institutions of significance, also resigned from their assignments after the NDA government was sworn in.
“Some of them had just a few months before their tenure would expire, and some even less than a month. Those who left included bureaucrats from the All India Services occupying coveted positions at the highest level, Directors/Chairmen of academic institutions of national acclaim, constitutional authorities (other than Governors), Directors/Chairmen of National Research Institutions, and the like,” stated Justice Khehar.
He also headed the Supreme Court bench that set aside the action of then Arunachal Pradesh Governor J P Rajkhowa to advance the Assembly session from January 14, 2016 to December 16, 2015, a verdict that lead to the ouster of the Congress government in the state.
The landmark judgment of the bench headed by Justice Khehar also resulted in the restoration of the Congress government in the state, something that was short-lived as almost the entire Congress legislature group merged in the BJP within days.
“The Governor must keep clear of any political horse-trading, and even unsavoury political manipulations, irrespective of the degree of their ethical repulsiveness. Who should or should not be a leader of a political party, is a political question, to be dealt with and resolved privately by the political party itself. The Governor cannot, make such issues, a matter of his concern,” Justice Khehar had held.
He was a part of the bench which had sent Sahara chief Subrata Roy to jail while hearing the matter in connection with the refund of money invested by people in his two companies.
Justice Khehar also headed a bench which recently gave a significant verdict holding that the principal of “equal pay for equal work” has to be made applicable to those engaged as daily wagers, casual and contractual employees who perform the same duties as the regulars. He is Presently heading the special 2G bench.
Justice Khehar was born in Punjab and appointed as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in February 1999. He was elevated as the chief justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand in November, 2009. He was transferred as Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka and was later elevated as a judge in the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011.