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CJI Chandrachud calls himself servant of law, says has to follow laid down procedure

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has said that as a ‘servant’ of the law and the Constitution, he has to follow the laid down procedure of law.

The observation was made by the CJI on Friday, when a lawyer mentioned a plea challenging the collegium system for judges’ appointments.

Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara sought the listing of a petition filed by him seeking the abolition of the collegium system and a reevaluation of the process for designating senior advocates.

However, the CJI did not seem to be inclined towards entertaining Nedumpara’s request and said that as a lawyer, he had the freedom to pursue his heart’s desire.

But as a judge of this Court, the CJI said he was a servant of the law and the Constitution. CJI Chandrachud added that he has to follow the position and the law laid down.

Nedumpara sought for a review of the 2015 NJAC verdict, arguing that the judgment should be rendered void ab initio. In 2015, the Supreme Court had struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and reaffirmed the collegium system.

When this matter was mentioned by him on a previous occasion for listing, CJI Chandrachud had wondered if a judgment could be challenged in a writ petition filed under Article 32.

According to the petitioner, the collegium system has failed and resulted only in monopolising the higher judiciary by the kith and kin of sitting and former Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, their juniors, and celebrated lawyers.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a petition filed by Nedumpara against the senior designation system.

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