Ranjan Gogoi Current Affairs - 2019

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Justice Rajendra Menon recommended as next Chairman of Armed Forces Tribunal

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has recommended former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon as the next chairman of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT). The other members of bench included Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer.

Key Highlights

If the appointment of Justice Rajendra Menon is approved by Centre, he will assume the charge once the incumbent Chairman of Armed Forces Tribunal, Justice Virender Singh retires on 6 October 2019.

Attorney General KK Venugopal informed the court that the file of Justice Menon was under consideration of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister.

About Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT)

It is a military tribunal in India that was established under the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. The Act gives the AFT power for adjudication/trial of disputes and complaints with respect to enrolments, appointments, commission, and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to Army Act (1950), The Navy Act (1957) and Air Force Act (1950).

The AFT has the Principal Bench in New Delhi. It has Regional Benches at Lucknow, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Guwahati, Kochi, Mumbai and Kolkatta. Except Chandigarh and Lucknow Regional Benches, which have 3 benches each, all other locations have a single bench. Each AFT Bench comprises of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member.

Collegium Recommends names of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recommended appointing Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna as judges of the Supreme Court.

The collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also comprises four senior-most judges of Supreme Court which includes Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Arun Mishra.

Three Judges Case and Collegium System

The Constitution of India under Article 124 and Article 217 prescribes the procedure for the appointment of judges of Supreme Court and High Court respectively. The articles state that the judges would be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts as the President of India may deem necessary.

The Collegium system for appointment of Judges emerged out of the three rulings of the Supreme Court which are collectively referred to as the Three Judges Case.

In the first judge case, S. P. Gupta vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had held that the word “consultation” in Article 124 and in Article 217  does not mean “concurrence” and the ultimate power would be vested with President.

In the Second judge case, Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association vs Union of India, the earlier judgment in the first judge case was overruled. It was said that in the event of a conflict between the President and the CJI with regard to appointments of Judges, the opinion of Chief Justice of India would have primacy, also would be determinative in the matter. It was in the second judge case the collegium system was instituted by the Supreme Court. For the appointment of judges of SC, the collegium would consist of CJI and two senior most judges and for the appointment of judges of HC, the collegium would consist of Chief justice of High court along with two senior-most judges of the High Court.

In the Third judge case under the special reference to the Supreme Court by the President of India, the Court upholding the judgment of the Second Judge expanded the collegium to include four senior-most judges along with the chief justice.

NJAC

The Constitution (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 sought to replace the Collegium system with the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). But the Supreme Court declared the amendment act as unconstitutional with a majority 4-1 judgment. This has been now referred to as Fourth judge case.