Ex Chief Justice UU Lalit was so vocal on the issue of collegium recommendations. In a Short but very compendious interview with the Legally Speaking Ex Chief justice said that everything going on conventionally…conventional method can’t solve all the issues.
For Higher Judiciary there is a MOP (Memorandum of Procedure) but it has no time limit. There should be a fixed time limit. Both the Parties have to do something in this area, when TDG asked, did you ever try to do something for time fixing issue. The Ex CJI replied, my tenure was so tiny, I had no chance to insist government. We had recommended one Elevation, I hold the office for six weeks, they can say yes or no but recommendation is still pending.
The former CJI, while interacting with TDG at his residence here, said the Supreme Court found the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act (NJAC) to be unconstitutional and if the government attempts to bring in the NJAC again, that is their prerogative. “But so long as that is not brought in, we will have to follow the established mechanism,” he added.
Justice Lalit agreed that the secretariat, established at the Supreme Court as per the NJAC judgment, has to be made functional fully as it would bring in more accountability.
Ex CJI added that he has no disappointment for not being able to appoint a single judge in the Supreme Court, as the recommendation made by the collegium to elevate Bombay High Court’s Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta in September still remain pending with the Centre.
When queried on uproar against the acquittal of three accused in Chhawla gang rape case, he said only evidence matters before the court and nothing else, and added, “we did not find material good enough to sustain the conviction”.
He elaborated that the circumstantial evidence on the basis of which the accused were convicted was not good enough and the circumstances did not form a complete chain and did not eliminate every hypothesis to prove their guilt.