Flurry of orders CJI Gogoi’s initial days as top judge
The government has singularly honoured the recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium since October 3, the day Justice Ranjan Gogoi took office as 46th Chief Justice of India.
The Ministry of Law and Justice website shows that 106 judicial appointments to the High Courts and the Supreme Court were issued by the government from October 3 till date. These orders include the appointment of four new judges to the Supreme Court on November 1, less than a month since Chief Justice Gogoi took over as top judge.
The government also approved 16 transfers of judges to the various High Courts.
In fact, the total 122 appointments and transfers (106+16) come within 26 days of Chief Justice Gogoi taking over. That is, the number of orders of appointments issued by the government is 4.8 times more than the number of days the Supreme Court worked since October 3.
Chief Justice Gogoi had himself recently expressed surprise at the speed — in 48 hours — with which the government cleared the Collegium’s recommendation of the four new Supreme Court judges.
Compare this trend to the first two months of CJI Gogoi’s immediate predecessor, Justice Dipak Misra.
Justice Misra assumed office as the 45th CJI on August 27 last year. The first order of appointment issued by the government was that of six judges to the Hyderabad High Court on September 18, 2017.
On the other hand, the first order of judicial appointment was issued by the government on the very day, October 3, Chief Justice Gogoi took oath as CJI. This was the appointment of Justice Surya Kant as the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court.
The government made 50 judicial appointments in various High Courts and approved merely five transfers from August 27 to December 31 of 2017 when the Collegium was led by Justice Misra.
The rush of clearances from the government comes even as the Supreme Court is seized with three politically-charged cases — Ayodhya dispute, Rafale deal and the CBI Director’s plea.