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Disappointed that Supreme Court did not make public, decision on judges : Justice Madan Lokur

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 January 2019, 11:50 IST

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Lokur has expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court not publically notifying the decision of the collegium recommending the elevation of two High court judges to the apex court and not uploading it on the website.

"There was a meeting on December 12 and certain decisions were taken. What happened between December 12 and January 10, I don't know. It does disappoint me that it was not put up on the website. But it is not my job to seek an explanation from the Chief Justice. We take a certain decision and it has to be uploaded," he said in an interactive session here on Wednesday.

Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna were elevated as top court judges earlier this month, after which a number of former apex court judges and members of the judiciary alleged that the duo were elevated by superseding senior judges at an all-India level.

Lokur said: "I don't know what the additional material was (because of which Justice Pradeep Nandrajog's name was withdrawn for the elevation of SC judge) which led to the collegium decision on January 10. However, I don't think nepotism runs in the collegium. There is no 'sifarish' (recommendation) in the collegium system."

The former apex court judge, who retired on December 30, 2018, said there was a need to tweak the way the collegium functions.

"I feel there is a need to bring about a change. Certain things in the system may need tweaking, but it's certainly not a failure. Everybody knows the government has been sitting on some files. Files have been pending for months. There has to be some mechanism by which timelines which are laid down must be adhered to. Nobody can sit on files, whether it's government or judiciary," he said.

Lokur further said some amount of openness has been observed in the functioning of the judiciary after the joint press conference held by four top court judges - J Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurien Joseph and himself- last year.

"The press conference by four judges has brought openness. Truth is a good defence, if you have any name who is corrupt then tell us," he added.

Lokur said he would not take up any post-retirement assignments.

"I think the judiciary has to stay away from political things. Judges have to stay away from political things. Judges are not politicians. There are occasions when judges have gone beyond what is required and on that they have to step back. Executives sometimes overstep, Parliament sometimes overstep. I am not going to work on government assignments after retirement," he said.

However, when asked, Lokur said if offered to head a tribunal to resolve issues of prisoners between India and Pakistan, he would accept the responsibility.

"Yes, I will. It would help the country," he said.


First published: 24 January 2019, 11:50 IST