“There is no hard and fast rule. There are a number of institutions (required to be occupied by the retired judges), do you want them to be occupied by politicians?” Markandey Katju Chairman, Press Council of India

New Delhi : Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju on Tuesday joined former chief justice of India R M Lodha, saying that there was no rule constraining judges from taking up government assignments or constitutional posts after their retirement.

“There is no such hard and fast rule. There is no such rule (of two year cooling-off period). There are a number of institutions (required to be occupied by the retired judges like tribunals), do you want them to be occupied by politicians,” asked Justice Katju (retd) to queries on Lodha’s suggestion for a two-year cooling-off period for retired judges before they take up assignments with the government or occupy constitutional positions.

Katju, a former apex court judge, was speaking during an interactive session on ‘Equality of Woman – Desired Goal of Emancipation’ organised by the Indian Women Press Corps, during which he touched on number of issues, including pendency of cases, judicial appointments, Uniform Civil Code, Muslim Personnel Law and status of women in India.

Defending former CJI P. Sathasivam becoming the Kerala governor, he said that there was nothing wrong in it. “If you want to criticise for the sake of criticism, you are welcome. Give him some time. Don’t start attacking him right away. There is nothing wrong (in accepting the governorship),” said Katju.

Hundreds of judges have been appointed as the head of various organisations, of late Justice G S Singhvi was appointed to head the Competition Appellate Tribunal and Justice B S Chauhan as the head of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, he noted.

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