06 May, 2021

Courting Courage In Hard Times

The apex court’s reputation has taken a bashing, but the new CJI can salvage it—provided he demonstrates what it takes to stay true to the Constitution

Justice N.V. Ramana is the first CJI to enter office under a cloud of suspicion
Courting Courage In Hard Times
outlookindia.com
2021-04-30T16:40:05+05:30

The Supreme Court got a new chief justice on April 24, with the swearing in of Justice N.V. Ramana. His appointment would have been mostly unremarkable except for the fact that he is the first Chief Justice of India (CJI) to enter office under a cloud of suspicion after being accused of serious impropriety, by the sitting chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Other CJIs have had to wait until ­occupying the high office before facing allegations of impropriety. The fact that an ‘in-house’ inquiry conducted by the Supreme Court has given CJI Ramana a ‘clean chit’ means little since the final report has not been made public.

The cloud of suspicion hanging over CJI Ramana comes at a time when there is an increasing perception among the Bar that the Supreme Court is no longer as independent from the government as it was in the past. The root cause of this perception has been the press conference held by four ­senior judges of the court on January 12, 2018. At this press conference, the four judges accused the then CJI Dipak Misra of allotting...

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