Indian Polity / Judiciary
The appointment of judges of Supreme Court and their removal process in India involves different procedures. All the judges of the Supreme Court including
the Chief Justice of India ( CJI ) are being appointed by the President of India. The judges of Supreme Court are removed by the process of impeachment.
President appoints the judges with the consultation of CJI and 4 other senior judges of the Supreme court, which is called Collegium system. That means
President consults the Collegium while appointing judges. However, while appointing the CJI, President may consult any judge of the Supreme Court or High Court
but it is not compulsory. Apart from regular judges, President of India may appoint certain Ad Hoc judges (temporary) in Supreme Court only for the time being
and in case of High Courts, he may appoint Additional judges. President or some other person who is appointed on his behalf, administers the oath of Chief
Justice of India and other judges.
- He should not have completed the age of 65 as the Supreme Court judge retiring age is 65.
- He must be a practicing advocate in any High Court or more than 1 High Court with a minimum period of not less than 10 years or he must be a judge of any
High Court or High Courts for not less than 5 years or he must be a famous jurist ( expert in the field of law ) in the opinion of the President.
- As for the CJI, no specific qualification is mentioned. However, usually seniority will be the criteria. However, the seniority principle was violated
twice. Even the Supreme Court in 1996, in the 3rd judge case ruled that seniority is not the criteria for the appointment of CJI.
Salary and Allowance
- Parliament of India fixes the salary and allowances of judges and it is charged on Consolidated Fund of India. It can not be reduced to their disadvantage
while they are remain in the office except during the times of financial emergency.
- They are also eligible for pension after their retirement. Half of the salary will be given as pension. They are eligible for a rent free accommodation and
Protections to Judges
Constitution of India provides and ensures certain protections against their Independence and Impartiality.
- They have foolproof appointment, in which even role of judiciary is present.
- They have fixed qualification, which cannot be altered conveniently.
- They are having good salaries and allowances, which are fixed by the Parliament.
- The integrity, the efficiency and the behavior of the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts cannot be discussed anywhere in India including
in the Parliament except during the course of their removal.
- After retirement, the judges of the Supreme Court are not allowed to practice law before any authority or court in India. Supreme Court judges do not have
any tenure but they generally retire at the age of 65.
- Supreme Court Chief Justice and other judges will address their resignation to the President.
Removal of Judges in India
- The removal process of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts is same. The judges of Supreme Court and High Courts are removed by the process of censure
or impeachment on the grounds of incapacity or misbehavior.
- The motion relating to removal of judges of Supreme Court or High Courts may be got initiated in either House of the Parliament. If it is initiated in
Rajya Sabha, 50 members of Rajya Sabha must sign the notice and it should be given to the presiding officer. If it is initiated in Lok Sabha, 100 members have
to sign the notice.
- The presiding officer of the initiating House will appoint an Inquiry Committee against the allegation of the judge. After that if the allegations are
proved, the House approves the motion with 2/3rd majority present and voting. After that the motion is transmitted to the other House. If the other
House also approves the motion with same majority and basing on these resolutions, President of India removes the judge of Supreme Court or High Court.
So far no judge of Supreme Court or High Courts were removed.
- The first judge against whom the removal proceedings were initiated, was Justice V. Ramaswami of the Supreme Court. It was initiated in the Lok Sabha but
it got defeated due to lack of 2/3rd majority.