In an exclusive interview to NDTV, former Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit, days after remitting his office, said his retirement plan would not include accepting offer to join the Rajya Sabha like former CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
When asked by anchor Sreenivasan Jain about what his retirement plans are, Justice Lalit said: “I would love to do some law teaching. I would perhaps like to go to National Judicial Academy as resource person. I would like to go to some of the law schools as visiting professor.”
On the question of whether he’d accept it if the government offers him any position, the former CJI said he won’t say anything on the issue since there is nothing in the pipeline. “But if there’s an offer worthy of consideration, I am not averse to that,” Justice Lalit said.
Justice Lalit, reacting to the narrative that there should be a Laxman Rekha and top court judges should not accept government positions post retirement, said: “I don’t think so (that judges should not accept government offers). Otherwise, there are appointments like NHRC, Lokpal or Law Commission chief, traditionally these posts are occupied by persons who have retired from either Supreme Court of High Courts. If the parliament thought it fit that a former judge or CJI should be the right candidate, do we say the parliament’s wisdom is incorrect.
However, when probed about accepting a Rajya Sabha seat offer, Justice Lalit stressed: “Rajya Sabha is a completely different thing. It is for those individuals (who go to Rajya Sabha) to decide. I would not do that.”
Explaining his reasons for not accepting Rajya Sabha seat if offered, Justice Lalit said: “In my personal opinion, having held the position of Chief Justice of India, the position of a nominee member of Rajya Sabha or a governor of a state is not a good idea. It is like going down the levels, I would not call it demotion, but certainly not befitting the status of Chief Justice.”
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