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No second innings, I want my freedom: CJI Lodha

Chief Justice of India Rajendra Mal Lodha gestures as he addresses the media on the eve of his retirement in New Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In a hint that Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha is tipped for the post of Lokpal post-retirement, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi said his departure from the Supreme Court was only a short interval before the beginning of his “second innings.”

Mr. Rohatgi said this at a farewell function held for Justice Lodha on Friday. This was shortly after the Chief Justice, to a question at a separate press conference, said he would reject the offer to be Lokpal.

“Many controversial issues came up before the Lodha court, but they were dealt with as legal matters. His retirement is only a short interval after the first innings of 20 years. His second innings is to start soon. We need good, keen, legal talent in Delhi ... Stay in Delhi,” Mr. Rohatgi said.

Justice Lodha replied to Mr. Rohatgi in the same cricketing terms.

“Mr. Rohatgi does not know that the time of two-innings cricket is over. Players are now for Twenty20 matches,” Justice Lodha said in his address.

Two-year period

Earlier talking to presspersons, Justice Lodha, in an apparent reference to the former CJI P. Sathasivam accepting the post of Kerala Governor, said, “This is my personal view and I am not commenting on any particular individual. I personally do not find it appropriate for a CJI or judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice or a High Court judge accepting post-retirement assignment from the government. There should be a cooling-off period of two years for judges to accept any appointment.”

To a question whether he would accept the post of Lokpal after his retirement, Justice Lodha said, “After retirement, I am not taking up any government assignment. In my view, we need to amend the law to ensure that at least for some time after retirement, the judge is not given any constitutional post.” However, he said, “because of the requirement of appointment of retired judges in the statutes in various tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies, the appointment of judges to these posts has to continue unless the Acts or statutes are amended or some other method is to be found.”


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 4:39:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/outgoing-chief-justice-of-india-rm-lodha-defends-collegium-system/article6449935.ece

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