New Delhi: Of the last 100 judges who retired from the Supreme Court as of 12 February, 70 took up post-retirement jobs, according to a report released on Friday.

The study by think tank Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy on Friday says there are several reasons for the large number of appointments of apex court judges, usually by the central and state governments, to various positions.

One significant reason is that several laws mandate the appointment of judges in certain positions. The report finds that 56% of all the appointments studied were made because the law required it, implying a structural problem.

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“In my view, of all the post retirement jobs, highest number happens with the judiciary," said law secretary Suresh Chandra. Chandra also added that Vidhi is doing good work in the area of empirical research.

Thirty-six percent of all appointments are also made by the central government exclusively. The appointments happen to several bodies including tribunals, commissions, ad hoc committees and other government positions like Lokayuktas.

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In 2014, former chief justice of India P. Sathasivam was appointed governor of Kerala. Among statutory appointments, H.L. Dattu, former chief justice, is now the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and former apex court judge S.J. Mukhopadhaya is the chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. The Law Commission chairperson is former Supreme Court judge B.S. Chauhan.

“We now need to look at our tribunal system, which is so pervasive now, it’s time we see tribunals as specialised bodies, with specialized judges who can then be elevated to the high courts and Supreme Court. It’s too taxing a job for someone for whom it’s a post retirement finisher," said Arghya Sengupta, research director at Vidhi.

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