Home / Latest News / Whether CJI is Chief Justice of India or Supreme Court alone?

Whether CJI is Chief Justice of India or Supreme Court alone?

July,18,2015: A Supreme Court judge has asked the government whether the Chief Justice is actually the ‘Chief Justice of India’ or the ‘Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India’, triggering a debate.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The question came from Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the five judges on the Constitution Bench deciding the crucial issue whether the political class, through the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), should be given an equal role in the appointment of judges, including the Chief Justice of India. The query, during the final NJAC hearing on Wednesday, stems from the inconsistency in the way the Constitution identifies the Chief Justice in two different places.

In Schedule 3 of the 65-year-old Constitution, which deals with ‘Forms of Oath and Affirmations’, the Chief Justice takes oath as the ‘Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India’. But under Article 124 of the Constitution, the President's Warrant of Appointment identifies him as the ‘Chief Justice of India’.

Responding to a query from Supreme Court Judge, Justice Kurian Joseph on whether the Chief Justice is actually the 'Chief Justice of India' or the 'Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India', Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi said he would look into the question. Senior advocate Fali Nariman said the matter required serious thought.

Justice Kurien Joseph
Justice Kurien Joseph
The question quintessentially delves into the basic constitutional identity of the Chief Justice – is he the Chief Justice of the institution of the Supreme Court of India and a 'first among equals' among the Supreme Court judges. Or, is he the Chief Justice of the Republic of India, representing the entire judiciary of the country?

Legal experts say the confusion lies in the fact that the Constitution does not provide a separate oath for the Chief Justice as in the case of the President under Article 60 and the Vice-President in Article 69.

All judges in the Supreme Court take a common oath prescribed in Schedule 3 of the Constitution, which begins as “I, A.B., having been appointed Chief Justice (or a Judge) of the Supreme Court of India…”

Former Additional Solicitor General and senior advocate Bishwajit Bhattacharya said there was no ambiguity and there was hardly a need to administer a separate oath for the Chief Justice.

“When he takes oath as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he also takes on the constitutional identity of the Chief Justice of India,” he said.

Mr. Bhattacharya, who has challenged the NJAC Act, said Justice Joseph may be subtly pointing out to the government that the Chief Justice of India is part of the basic structure of the Constitution under Article 124, and the new NJAC law has relegated him to one among six members of the Commission.

Hindu

CJI
CJI

Related News-

       15.7.2015- NJAC fate sealed, arguments over before Constitution Bench of Supreme Court, Judgement to follow READ MORE…

       27.6.2015- Former SC Judge’s Daughter objects to AG’s smear jibe for her Mother to push NJAC READ MORE…

       22.6.2015: NJAC hearing: Govt sticks to claim, says Justice Cyriac Joseph wrote only 3 judgments READ MORE…

       21.6.2015- NJAC hearing: SC takes note of LK Advani’s remarks on Emergency READ MORE…

       11.6.15- Centre tears into SC Collegium system READ MORE…

       5.5.15- Centre, SC spar over primacy of CJI in judicial appointments READ MORE…

       2.5.15- Lay citizens cannot select judges, says SC READ MORE…

       1.5.15- Did Centre, collegium ever differ? Asks SC READ MORE…

       27.4.15- Will not participate in NJAC, CJI Justice Dattu tells Modi READ MORE…

       23.4.15-  NJAC will not appoint judges till SC decides on validity READ MORE…

       21.4.15- SC to decide which 5 judges can hear NJAC validity READ MORE…

       15.4.15-  Justice Dave recuse himself from hearing petitions challenging NJAC Act READ MORE…

       15.4.15- Premature to test constitutionality of NJAC, Govt. to plead before SCREAD MORE…

        13.4.15- Govt. notifies NJAC, spells end to Supreme Court Collegium READ MORE…

          9.4.15- National Judicial Appointments Commission rollout may take monthsREAD MORE…

          7.4.15- SC refers NJAC Act validity issue to larger bench READ MORE…

LatestLaws.in links-

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Real Estate Reality

Manner in which the order has been passed is very Disturbing: SC on NCLT’s Unitech’s Management Takeover Order

Supreme Court agrees to hear Unitech’s plea against Centre Govt. taking over the Company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *