Suspecting a ‘hidden agenda’ in the timing of former Supreme Court Justice Markandeya Katju’s statement favouring ‘merit’ over seniority, lawyer community in the country today urged the government not to be misled by such statements while appointing the next Chief Justice of India. Addressing a joint press conference, Chairman of All India Bar Association Adish C Aggarwala and Bangalore Bar Association President K N Subba Reddy urged the Government to immediately announce the name of next Chief Justice of India without any delay.
‘There are no judges in the apex court without merit and the Government should stick to seniority as the criteria and appoint Justice H L Dattu, the senior most judge in the Court,’ they urged. They said all the judges in the SC had good reputation and calibre and nobody had pointed any lacuna. Such being the case, the Government should go by the established path of seniority. Judiciary was in a quandary when seniority was violated twice in independent India and the Court itself has ruled that seniority can’t be violated. ‘This is the law and the Government should abide by it,’ they urged. They said they had written a letter to the President with copies to Prime Minister and CJI on the need to designate the senior most judge of the Supreme Court.