Shanti Bhushan vs. UOI (Supreme Court)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 19, 2008 (Date of publication)

(1) A person who is not suitable to be appointed as a permanent Judge on the ground of unsuitability due to adverse factors on account of mental and physical capacity, adverse materials relating to character and integrity and other relevant matters, which are so paramount and sacrosanct for the functioning as a Judge, should not be continued as an Additional Judge. He should also not be given an extension.

(2) On facts, though all the members of the collegium including the then Chief Justice of India opposed the appointment of respondent No.2 (Justice Ashok Kumar) as a permanent Judge his term as additional judge was extended from time to time apparently at the behest of the Government. “the then Chief Justice should have stuck to the view expressed by the collegium and should not have been swayed by the views of the government to recommend extension of the term .. as it amounts to surrender of primacy by jugglery of words”. However, the belated challenge to the extensions “cannot put the clock back”.

(3) The concerned judge has been transferred to some other High Court in public interest (A. P. High Court) and if it comes to the notice of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India that action needs to be taken in respect of him for any aberration while functioning as a Judge, appropriate action as deemed proper shall be taken.