April,21,2015: The issue of conflict of interest and doctrine of bias once again cropped up today before a constitution bench of the Supreme Court set up to hear the constitutional validity of the law replacing the appointment of judges by the collegium system.
After some of the parties in the matter raised the issue of heading the five-judge bench headed by Justice J.S. Khehar, it decided that before going into merits of the impugned law it will settle the issue as to which judges of the Supreme Court can hear it.
Justice Khehar said he had “no desire” to hear this matter. He was hearing it because of the fact that Chief Justice of India (CJI) had constituted the bench with him as part of it after Justice A.R. Dave had recused himself, he said.
He said the moment his name was decided to head the bench, he wrote to the CJI that he will not be a part of either the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) or the collegium till the matter is finally heard and decided.
“We should decide who will hear the matter,” the bench also comprising Justices J. Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Adarsh Kumar Goel said, while posting the matter for hearing on Wednesday.
“It is a very vital issue and we cannot keep it pending.
We intend to pass an order as to who will hear the matter,” the bench said.Hindu