To ensure highest standards of judicial independence at all times and to ward off even the faintest trace of governmental influence on the judiciary, there needs to be at least a two year “cooling off period” for retiring judges before they accept any post retirement position. This would help maintain public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary.
We have been witness to the manner in which even Supreme Court Chief Justices and High Court judges have been rewarded with post retirement postings. But this most recent one may be the first of its kind where even before the Judge retired, the order of his post retirement nest was issued. The order appointing retiring Chief Justice of Delhi High Court DN Patel as Chairperson of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) was issued on 4th March, eight days prior to his retirement on 12th March so that he could take charge of his “ golden” retirement nest egg immediately on 14th March with a monthly salary of Rs 2,50,000 for four years or till he turns 70. So the 62-year-old Justice Patel could serve for a term of 4 to 8 years. Needless to say he hails from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat.
Whilst we watch with anguish such greed of some retiring Judges, let us take a bow to those brave Judges who do not fall prey to such immediate retirement postings and maintain highest and upright standards which are expected from all judges dispensing their verdicts without tilting the scales of Justice.