Attorney General K K Venugopal on Thursday said that the tenure of Chief Justices across the country should be a minimum of three years. "The tenure of Chief Justices should be of a minimum of three years. Besides that, the age of retirement for judges should be 68 in both Supreme Court and High Courts," Attorney General Venugopal told news agency ANI. Currently, Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65 whereas high court judges demit offices at 62.
Venugopal resonated similar sentiments earlier on Thursday while speaking at a function kept in honour of new Chief Justice of India S A Bobde. "It is a matter of concern that the Chief Justices has only a year to function. By the time they settle down, they retire," he said. While former chief justice Ranjan Gogoi served for 13 months, incumbent Chief Justice S A Bobde will have a tenure of 17 months.
He also raked up the issue of jam-packed courts across the country. "Courts and corridors are crowded. New chambers are crowded as advocates do not have enough chambers to rest and prepare themselves,' the Attorney General added. On the issue of pendency of cases in the courts across the country, Venugopal said that it requires a "multi-pronged attack and decision making" between the government, judges and lawyers.
In 2018, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had dismissed the idea of a fixed tenure for CJIs. Gogoi had stated that there were some norms associated with judges' elevation especially with respect to their seniority. Gogoi further added that it may not be a good idea to deny a person the chance of becoming the CJI merely because his tenure would be short. In 2014, the law commission had recommended fixing the term of the CJI, describing it as a necessary step required for the overhaul of judicial appointments.
(With inputs from ANI)