Former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur has openly admitted that he was disappointed with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, for withholding from public glare the resolution of the Collegium that met on December 12. It may be recalled that Justice Lokur is said to be very close to Justice Gogoi, who once described as his “right hand man”.
As is the practice followed in the Supreme Court where Collegium decisions are put up on the website for all to see, Justice Lokur, while speaking at a public event, said, “There was a meeting that took place on December 12, 2018. This is reflected in the decision of the next Collegium that met on January 10. Once a resolution is passed by the Collegium, I would expect it is put out on the website. It does disappoints me when the decision taken by Collegium (of December 12) is not put out on SC website.”
This was the last collegium meeting Justice Lokur attended prior to his retirement on December 30. However, the former judge did not comment on the decision to change the recommendation suggesting that he was not aware of the additional material discussed in the January 10 meeting.
A row erupted after the CJI Ranjan Gogoi-headed 5-judge Collegium in a fresh resolution on January 10 recommended the elevation of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna to the Supreme Court bypassing the seniority of several judges. Justices Maheshwari and Khanna were sworn in last Friday.
The previous Collegium, which had also included Justice Lokur, at its December 12 meeting reportedly resolved to elevate Justices Nandrajog and Menon to the Supreme Court. However, this resolution was not made public.
On non-elevation of Justices Nandrajog and Menon to the Supreme Court, Lokur said he was not aware what additional material came after his retirement that led the Collegium to its decision on January 10.