Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan
New Delhi: Concerned at increasing instances of corruption in the judiciary, particularly in lower courts, the Chief Justice of India, Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, has asked the Chief Justices of all High Courts to weed out judicial officers in the subordinate judiciary who are found to be of doubtful integrity or incompetent.
In a letter written to the Chief Justices, Justice Balakrishnan has said that under the relevant rules the “appropriate authority” could compulsorily retire a government servant if it was in public interest to do so.
“The basic objective behind this provision is to retire those who are found to be unfit, incompetent and ineffective or with doubtful integrity, reputation and utility. Premature retirement is not a stigma and no civil consequences follow such retirement,” he added.
Justice Balakrishnan said that as per Supreme Court directions contained in the All India Judges Association case a review should be made first on the judicial officers attaining the age of 50 years and then at 55 and this would be in addition to the normal review conducted at the end of 58 years.
The letter said the evaluation was to be done on the basis of past record of service, character rolls, quality of judgments and other relevant materials before the judicial officers attained 58 years.
It said service rules could be suitably amended to provide for such assessments.
It said “if implemented in right earnest, such a provision will keep deviant behaviour in check, besides getting rid of those who are found to be indolent, ineffective or with doubtful integrity. I would like to inform you that such review in respect of officers and employees of Supreme Court is being carried out when they reach the age of 50/55/56/57/58 and 59 years and has proved to be quite effective.”
Justice Balakrishnan asked the Chief Justices to keep him informed of the decisions taken by the High Court in the matter.
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