(MENAFN - The Peninsula) In apparent disapproval of his predecessor P Sathasivam accepting the Kerala governor's post, Chief Justice of India R M Lodha yesterday said that no CJI or Supreme Court or high court judge should accept any government position or occupy a constitutional office at least for sometime after retiring.
In an interaction with media persons on his last working day, he advocated a two-year cooling-off period.
"I hold the view that the Supreme Court chief justice and judges, the high court chief justice and judges should not, post retirement, accept a constitutional position or positions connected with the government. Should it happen, it should be after a cooling off period of two years," the CJI said.
As there are certain statutes requiring an institution or a tribunal to be headed by the retired chief justice of India, apex court judge or high court chief justice, Chief Justice Lodha said that one option was to amend these statutory provisions paving the way for alternatives or a wait of two years.
"If you want to stop it (judges occupying statutory bodies like NHRC or the tribunals), then amend these statutory provisions," he said.
"At least for sometime a judge is not given a constitutional position," he said and repeatedly clarified that he was not making a comment on any individual's case in response to questions about his view on his predecessor becoming the Kerala governor.
Categorically rejecting the possibility of his becoming the first Lokpal or occupying any government position, Chief Justice Lodha said: "You will not see me in any government position."
He regretted that his suggestion that the Supreme Court should function all 365 days a year was not taken in the right perspective by the members of the bar and an "opportunity which could have helped in streamlining the functioning of the higher judiciary has been lost".