Tenure Of Supreme Court Judges

Which they wanted not to be eroded, this was the significant event in the entire Judicial History of India subsequently the convention of seniority for the appointment of Chief Justice of India has been continuously followed. From the Puisne Judges of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India Justice Sinha 1949. He was impeached by the Parliament and it was only the occasion in the Judicial History of India. After Republic, Justice Harilal J.Kania was the First Chief Justice of India. He was in office from 26th Jan 1950 to 6th Nov 1951. Even though the tenure of office of the Chief Justice of India was less than one month, few months, or one year before attaining the age of 65, such senior most Judge of the Supreme Court was appointed as Chief Justice. The tenure of Justice J.C.Shah is one such example. He held the office for 34 days hardly. Justice M.H.Kania held the office from 18 November 1992 to 1993. For appointment of other Judges of the Supreme Court a procedure was constantly followed that senior most Chief Justices of High Courts are being appointed. The retirement age of Judge of the supreme Courts in 65 years, whereas the retirement for Chief Justice of High Court is 62 years. This is also on the basis of convention followed by the President of India. But, as per the qualifications prescribed under clause 3 of Article 124* he must be a Citizen of India, He must be a Judge of a High Court for 5 years in two or more High Courts successively.

Those events of appointments were subjected to lot of criticism across the Nation in the legal field.

If once the Judges of higher judiciary are appointed they cannot be removed from office except the procedure laid down under (4) of Article 124. It by impeachment of Judge in the Parliament, Subhash Sharma VS Union of India[1]. The procedure of impeachment is specifically dealt with and it may be motion for impeachment of a Judge of a higher Judiciary (Supreme Court or High Court) can be moved either in Loksabha or in Rajyasabha. After an address by each house of Parliament supported by a majority of not less than 2/3 of the members of the house present and voting in the house for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. As per this stipulation it is highly impossible to obtain 2/3rd majority in the house because of present day political system in the country. 

Justice Sinha was impeached by the Indian Parliament in the year 1949. Later, V.Ramaswamy, Judge the proceedings of impeachment was moved against him. Finally, it was not passed in the Parliament. Recently, another case relating to Justice P.D.Dinakaran, Chief Justice of Karnataka an impeachment proceedings were moved in the Rajya Sabha, how even he resigned, and as such the matter was not further proceeded in the Parliament.

[1] AIR 1991 SC 631 

* Article 124 – Establishment and Constitution of Supreme Court.


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