RS nomination, Guv’s post don’t befit ex-CJI’ – Chief Justice (Retd.) UU Lalit

New Delhi: A Rajya Sabha nomination or a Governor’s posting is not befitting the status of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), the outgoing CJI Uday Umesh Lalit has said. Justice Lalit made it clear that it was his personal view.

However, his comments would revive the debate on Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination to the Upper House of Parliament within six months of his relinquishing the office of the CJI in November 2019.

Talking to a news channel, Justice Lalit said while he was not averse to the idea of accepting a Government appointment, he would not accept a Rajya Sabha nomination or a Governor’s posting as he believes it’s “not a demotion, but not befitting the status of the Chief Justice of India.”

“To my mind, having held the position as Chief Justice of the country, perhaps, I think the position as a nominee Member of the Rajya Sabha is not the correct idea or as a Governor of a State is again not a correct idea,” he said to a question on judges, like former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, accepting post-retirement Government postings.

“That’s my personal view. I’m not suggesting that those persons are in the wrong,” he added. Justice Lalit mentioned the National Human Rights Commission chief, Lokpal, and Law Commission chief as jobs he wouldn’t mind taking up if asked.

“Rajya Sabha is a completely different thing. What I mean to say is that places like the chairperson of NHRC…wherever there is legislation which the Parliament has passed, and the Parliament has prescribed that so-and-so person with requisite experience who was or is the judge of the Supreme Court or former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, we go by the wisdom of the Parliament,” he clarified.