New Delhi: Denouncing the rife media speculation on Collegium meeting regarding judges’ appointment in the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana termed the reports as ‘very unfortunate’.
“I am extremely upset and expect all stakeholders to uphold integrity and dignity of this institution,” the CJI said.
CJI Ramana, while speaking in the ceremonial function to bid farewell to Justice Navin Sinha who is retiring, said the process of appointment of judges is sacrosanct and has dignity attached to it and the media must understand and recognise its sanctity.
“On this occasion I want to take the liberty to express my concern about certain speculations and reports in the media. You are all aware we need to appoint judges to this court. The process is ongoing. Meetings will be held and decisions will be taken. The process of appointment of judges is sacrosanct and has certain dignity attached to it. My media friends must understand and recognise the sanctity of this process,” he said.
The CJI said that as an institution, the apex court holds the freedom of media and the rights of individuals in high esteem and today’s reflections in some sections of the media, pending the process, even before formalising the resolution is counter-productive.
“There were instances of deserving career progression of bright talents getting marred because of such irresponsible reporting and speculation. This is very unfortunate and I am extremely upset about it,” he said.
The CJI also lauded the “tremendous amount of maturity and responsibility” displayed by majority of senior journalists and media houses in showing restraint and not speculating on such a serious matter.
“Such professional journalists and ethical media are the real strength of the Supreme Court in particular and democracy in general. You are part of our system. I expect all the stakeholders to uphold the integrity and dignity of this institution,” he said.
The head of the judiciary was referring to media reports which said the Collegium, headed by the CJI, is understood to have recommended nine names, including those of three women judges, for appointment as judges in the top court.
The three women judges whose names have been recommended for elevation include Justice B V Nagarathna of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court and Justice Bela Trivedi of the Gujarat High Court.
If the Collegium’s recommendation is considered and Justice BV Nagarathna is elevated to the Apex Court as a judge, then she could likely become India’s first woman Chief Justice of India in 2027.