Supreme Court Order In Justice Karnan Case
Justices Chelameswar and Gogoi are part of the five-member Collegium which appoints judges to the higher judiciary. Justice Chelameswar was the lone dissenting judge in the five-member Constitution bench that struck down the National Judicial Appointment Commission. He had held the commission valid for appointing judges.
The aim of the order, the two judges said, is not to point fingers at individual appointments but to highlight the need for a debate. ‘‘We are only sad to point out that apart from the embarrassment that this entire episode has caused to the Indian Judiciary, there are various other instances (mercifully which are less known to the public) of conduct of some of the members of the judiciary which certainly would cause some embarrassment to the system.’’
The order does not make any specific suggestion on what the appointment mechanism could be, but says the need for one “appears to be unquestionable” while calling for a debate.
‘’What appropriate mechanism would be suitable for assessing the personality of the candidate who is being considered for appointment to be a member of a constitutional court is a matter which is to be identified after an appropriate debate by all the concerned – the Bar, the Bench, the State and Civil Society,” said the order by Justice Chelameswar and Justice Gogoi.
The order concludes by highlighting the need for a legal mechanism to deal with situations arising from conduct of the judges, while pointing out that the standards and procedure for impeachment of judges are much more rigorous for obvious reasons.
''There can be deviations in the conduct of the holders of the offices of constitutional courts which do not strictly call for impeachment of the individual or such impeachment is not feasible. Surely there must be other ways of dealing with such cases,'' the order said.