S. P Gupta Case Study

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Since 1950, judges have been appointed by the government in “consultation” with the Chief Justice of India (CJI). For the first two decades, there was a near consensus between the government of the day and the CJI. The Collegium system evolved through Supreme Court judgments in the Three Judges Cases. S.P. Gupta case (December 30, 1981) : The First Judges Case:The judgement stated that the “primacy” of the CJI’s recommendations on judicial appointments and transfers can be refused for “cogent reasons.” The ruling gave the Executive a one up over the Judiciary in judicial appointments for the next 12 years. In 1981 the question arose whether “Consultation” referred to in Articles 124(2) and 217(1) with the CJI meant “concurrence” in which case the recommendations of the judiciary would be binding on the government. In the S P Gupta case decided in 1981, the Court held by a majority that the recommendations of the CJI were not binding on the government. Once this decision was rendered the government obtained a license to disregard the recommendations of the judiciary. While this was a literal interpretation of the word “consultation”, it had devastating political consequences. It appears the recommendation made by the CJI were not accepted as an invariable rule; change was on the cards.…show more content…
It said the CJI only needed to consult two senior-most judges. “The role of the CJI is primal in nature because this being a topic within the judicial family, the Executive cannot have an equal say in the matter,” the verdict stated. Soon, confusion prevailed as the CJIs started taking unilateral decisions without consulting the two senior-most judges. The President was reduced to only an

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