CJI hits out at ‘speculative’ reports on Supreme Court Collegium recommendations

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana. File  

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Wednesday voiced in open court his extreme displeasure over “speculative” reports in certain sections of the media about the Supreme Court Collegium having recommended nine names for judicial appointments to the top court.

Also read: Chief Justice of India rues ‘sorry state of affairs’ in lawmaking

The CJI said the reports were “irresponsible” and “counter-productive”.

“Today’s reflections in some sections of the media, pending the process, even before formalising the resolution is counter-productive. There were instances of deserving career progression of bright talents getting marred because of such irresponsible reporting and speculation. This is very unfortunate and I am extremely upset about it,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

The CJI was heading a Ceremonial Bench convened on the occasion of Justice Navin Sinha’s retirement.

The CJI said Collegium meetings were going on. The process of judicial appointment is a sacrosanct function of the Collegium. The media should not harm the integrity and dignity of the process by indulging in speculation.

“You are all aware we need to appoint judges to this court. The process is ongoing. Meetings will be held and decisions will be taken. The process of appointment of judges is sacrosanct and has certain dignity attached to it. My media friends must understand and recognise the sanctity of this process. As an institution, we hold the freedom of media and the rights of individuals in high esteem,” Chief Justice Ramana urged the media to report with a certain sense of responsibility and maturity.

Also read: High Court appointments an ongoing process, Law Ministry informs Rajya Sabha

The CJI commended journalists who had shown restraint.

“I must also place on record the tremendous amount of maturity and responsibility displayed by the majority of senior journalists and media houses in showing restraint and not speculating on such a serious matter. Such professional journalists and ethical media are the real strength of the Supreme Court in particular and democracy in general. You are part of our system. I expect all the stakeholders to uphold the integrity and dignity of this institution,” the Chief Justice said.

The CJI said Justice Sinha, on the Bench, would surely “forgive him from deviating a bit on this solemn occasion”.

“He [Justice Sinha] will understand my anguish,” the CJI said.

“Brother Sinha is known by the Bar and Bench for his straightforward and candid approach. He will always be remembered as a fair Judge — one who talks less but is very insightful... Personally, I am left feeling quite saddened by his retirement. We are losing an important voice and a valued colleague,” Chief Justice Ramana said.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 7:17:10 PM |

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