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Wednesday, Oct 13, 2004

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`No proposal for transfer of judges' of judges'

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, OCT. 12. The Union Law Minister, H.R. Bhardwaj, said today that the Centre had not received any recommendation from the Chief Justice of India for a mass transfer of the Chief Justices and judges of the High Courts.

Reacting to a news report, Mr. Bhardwaj told reporters: ``I have received no recommendation from the CJI regarding the transfer or posting of the Chief Justices and judges of High Courts.''

He said that these sensitive transfers and postings were not done as a knee-jerk operation. After the collegium of judges headed by the CJI gave its recommendation, the Law Ministry consulted the Chief Ministers and the Governors of the States concerned to finalise the proposals. Consultation took more than a fortnight and then the files were sent to the Prime Minister's Office, from where the names would be forwarded to the President.

Regional benches

Asked whether he had written a letter to the CJI on the demands from various quarters for setting up Supreme Court Benches in the south, west and east, Mr. Bhardwaj said that he forwarded such requests to the CJI from time to time. ``The decision of the Supreme Court in this regard is final and the Government always abides by the decision taken in the Full Court meeting of the Supreme Court.''

The Full Court of the Supreme Court is meeting here on October 14 to consider a proposal from the Centre for reconsideration of the court's earlier stand that there is no need for setting up regional benches. Though the Court has rejected the proposal on a few occasions, the parliamentary committees had been repeatedly urging the Government to persuade the Court to take up the matter again. It is in this context that the Centre forwarded the reports of the committees to the court.

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