Plea has been filed in Supreme Court by Bharat Pratap Singh, practicing Advocate of Allahabad High Court challenging the memorandum of procedure regarding appointment of the Chief Justice of India as ultra vires of Articles 14 & 124 of the Constitution of India. In the petition he stated the investigation for independence of Judiciary which is a cardinal feature of the Constitution of India, is at present a road half travelled.
Petitioner also said that Chief Justice of India is the constitutional head of democracy in India, who is appointed on the basis of seniority and recommended by the retiring Chief which process is not equal to the recommendation of collegium of the SC but is a creation of another kind of kingship which was abolished long ago under the Constitution and that its effect is against the spirit of Article 124 and also the mandate of the Supreme Court passed in the judgment of case of Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association and others Vs. Union of India.
It is also stated that due to the lack of any Constitutional law or statutory rule for fixation of seniority, there always remains a chance of breaking the provision of choice by seniority. Further it adds that if the provision of appointment of CJI is unconstitutional or in doubt then talking about the independence of judiciary will remain in vague, illusion and like a dream. Even though CJI is a different class with exceptional administrative powers, salary, oath and office, still the Constitution is silent regarding their procedure of appointment.
The petitioner has also put questions like “whether the procedure of appointment is constitutionally valid or a due process of law?”
Further the petitioner seeks answers of various questions like: –
Q. Whether there is any seniority rule or the list is prepared by ministry of law or Supreme Court of India?
Q. Whether the recommendation of retiring CJI is constitutionally valid?
Q. Whether CJI is a different class or not?
Q. Whether the president of India is bound to follow the recommendation of retiring CJI for new appointment?