It is indicative that the name I chose for this Blog is the keyword in the NJAC judgment – “The Last Word”. In some pieces, I notice people avoiding using the phrase. Don’t. It must be in our consciousness, at all points of time, that The Last Word belongs to the Chief Justice of India and it shall forever be so.
[Unless there are Four Supreme Courts with Four Chief Justices! Bang! Bang!]
There are indications that Hon’ble Justice Sikri believed his to be The Last Word as well. Senior Advocate T.R. Andhyarujina writes,
“As the ‘The View By the Majority’ paper was passed along for signatures of the Judges on the Bench, Four Judges, Justice Ray, Mathew, Dwivedi and Beg would have nothing to do with it and demonstrably refused to sign it. Each of them just passed on the paper to the next colleague on the Bench. Nine Judges..each signed the statement. Never had the Supreme Court seen such a spectacle. This is the so-called ‘The View by the Majority’ of the Bench which has been assumed to the decision in Kesavananda case…
No discussion took place in Court at any time nor could they possibly have taken place in the chambers of the Judges on what was ‘The View of the Majority’ arising from the eleven different judgments…Justice Chandrachud wrote in his judgment that because of serious constraints of time due to the retirement of CJ Sikri on 25th April, 1973, “..I have had the benefit of knowing fully the views of only four of us.”
All hinged on the retirement of CJI Sikri! The Sign of Four.
Hon’ble Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel:
“Primacy of the Judiciary in appointment of Judges is part of the Basic Structure. Appointment of Judges is part of the Independence of Judiciary.”
“The CJI has the last word in the matter”.
“The settled principle is that the Court should not, except when it is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubts that its previous ruling, given after due deliberation and full hearing, was erroneous, revisit earlier decisions so that the law remains certain.”
“No such situation has arisen.”
“The earlier decisions in the Second and Third Judges case have to be taken as binding precedents.”
“Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, UK, Israel, France, Italy, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany and United States.”
“Models of other countries could not be blindly followed…the Judicial Commissions referred to by the Learned Attorney General do not show the trend of reducing the pre-existing role of the Judiciary. In fact, the trend is for reducing the pre-existing role of the Executive. In the impugned amendment it is the reverse.”
“The role of the Law Minister and the non-judge members cannot be placed at par with the Chief Justice…They cannot be compared for obvious reasons”.
“The plea of giving vital inputs does not justify participation of the Non-Judge members with the Chief Justice…”.
Judgment Rating: 6/10.