The outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said on Thursday that the Supreme Court collegium had successfully appointed nearly 224 judges in various high courts during his tenure, and that the collegium had cleared almost all names pertaining to the Delhi High Court, and that he hoped that these recommendations would be approved by the Centre as well, news agency PTI reported.
Justice Ramana, who will leave office on August 26 after reaching the age of superannuation, stated that he addressed concerns surrounding the nomination of judges and infrastructure during his time and hoped that he met the legal fraternity’s expectations.
While addressing the farewell event organised by the Delhi High Court Bar Association, CJI Ramana stated: “I hope that I stood up to the expectation which you expected from me. I discharged my duties as Chief Justice in whatever possible way. I have taken up two issues, all of you know, the infrastructure and the appointment of judges. Thanks to the support given by my brother and sister judges in Supreme Court and Collegium, we successfully appointed almost 224 judges in high courts.”
Speaking on the appointment of Delhi High Court justices, Justice Ramana — who served as that court’s acting Chief Justice from September 2013 to February 2014 — claimed that Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court used “a lot of influence.”
“I think now almost everything we cleared except one or two names. I hope the government will clear those names also,” he added.
Justices Kaul, Indira Banerjee, Sanjiv Khanna, S Ravindra Bhat, and Hima Kohli of the Supreme Court, as well as the justices of the Delhi High Court and members of the Bar, were present at the occasion.
“We are six people representing Delhi in the Supreme Court. Even though I am retiring, there are five representatives from Delhi. I hope some more representatives will join shortly,” the CJI was quoted by PTI in its report.
He said that the Delhi High Court cannot be compared to any other high court due to its “unique characteristics and specialties” and “amount of litigation,” and that his time serving as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court served as his “launch pad” for becoming a successful CJI.
“The judges used to work hard till night 7-8 o’clock in the chamber. They come in the morning (and) they used to work up to night 8’o clock – 9’o clock sometimes. I was surprised. Normally, at other places, the judges will go by 4 o’clock,” he added.
Although there were some “chronic public interest litigants” during his time there, he said that the attorneys were “disciplined” at the time.
“I never had any occasion to face any strike or some dharna or anything. This is the biggest achievement because they first warned me that you’re going to Delhi, you must prepare for dharna and strikes. That never happened,” the CJI said.
Before travelling to Delhi, he was “advised to be careful,” he said, as he had been warned that “the people there are highly sophisticated, informed, and, very sad to say, hostile,” but he had instead gotten love and support from everyone.
In his remarks, Justice Ramana recalled how, during his “days of turbulence” a few years prior, every member of the bar, notably Delhi, stood by him in solidarity and voted resolutions in his support. He described them as his “true well-wishers” and said those were his “days of upheaval.”
(With Inputs From PTI)