DailyPost 2720

The lure of a post retirement job has an impact on the decision making and capability to objectively perform official duties by a bureaucrat, has by now become an accept fact. The visible connection in the large number of cases has made it very conspicuous. What is left of non-political bureaucracy can be matter for debate for some other day. What they contribute on their own given their wide-ranging inherent powers and expertise, has become suspect. Besides the post retirements jobs, not one or once but slew of them, one after the other too, if you know the tricks of the trade, there the extensions, and you can continue to remain in service for long years after you would have actually retired.

Besides any number of ways and means are found to create new posts with new super tasks /responsibilities, political forays and what not. The connect between the delivery as a bureaucrat and all that is mentioned above seems to have been accepted as a fact now. The current SBI chairman and mostly two of managing directors are on extension. The utility of one year cooling off and exemptions and relaxations of this rule can long be debated, but the reality check has been narrated. Malaise of this nature has a natural tendency to spread and now we see it hitting the judicial field.

The constitution makers were convinced of the fact that the human resources manning the higher judiciary would be men and woman of a different caliber, totally dedicated to the constitution of India and literally, work without any fear or favor or lure. Might be for that reason there does not seem to be explicit provisions of cooling off. Only impeachment is provided for exceptional cases of misdemeanor, the process being extremely difficult to push through. This in a way provides immense immunity to judges of the superior courts to deliver in a manner they are constitutionally mandated. It was also safely presumed that your never be attracted by politics and politicians.

Post retirements postings of judges the wider critical audience has starting connecting to the earlier judgements delivered by them is an issue of immense concern to a democracy like ours. It also gives rise of the feeling that they have an interface with the powers that be. Democratic checks and balances do not provide for that cozy connection. And now we have a judge quitting and taking the political plunge, brings in urgency to solve this evolving problem. The concerned judge has been alleged for other aberrations as well. Can the institution self-heal itself? Doesn’t seem very likely. Can a long cooling off period of 5 years have a sobering impact on this trend or complete ban of post retirements jobs the only answer?

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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