Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lawyers to the rescue again

SC holds "tainted" judge's appointment to consumer fora illegal
New Delhi, May 12: The Supreme Court has upheld the Madras High Court's decision quashing the appointment of Justice N Kannadasan, a former additional judge of the Madras High Court, as president of Tamil Nadu State Consumer Commission as illegal and in violation of statutory norms.

Justice Kannadasan's appointment was challenged by certain persons in the Madras High Court on the ground that he did not retire as an additional judge as he was not confirmed as an additional judge since he had "questionable intergrity."

Under the Consumer Protection Act, a retired judge or an additional judge of an high court is appointed as president of the State Consumer Commission.

Challenging the high court's judgement, Justice Kannadasan and the state government filed the appeal in the apex court.

Interpeting Section 16 of the Consumer Protection Act, the apex court said the provision envisages a limit on the power of both the state as also the Chief Justice in making an appointment.

"The facts relevant for such an appointment must be placed before both the statutory authorities. One of such facts is that an additional judge, for one reason or the other, was found not fit to be made permanent or to be given an extension of his tenure. Indisputably, a person having doubtful integrity should neither be recommended by the High Court nor appointed by the state government," the bench of Justices S B Sinha and Mukundakam Sharma observed.

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