'Should CJI also get to fly in state aircraft as PM, Prez?'
3 Apr 2008, 0251 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: At a time when perceived judicial encroachment into executive and legislative domain is drawing ire from both within and outside, a petition filed in the Supreme Court complains of step-motherly treatment to the head of the judiciary — the Chief Justice of India (CJI).
The cry of discrimination from an NGO is based on the denial of a special aircraft to the CJI and the CJs of the high courts. If the President, Prime Minister and even cabinet ministers are entitled to travel in special aircraft, why not the CJI, who administers oath of office to the President, asked NGO 'Nyay Bharti' in its petition before the apex court.
The NGO has challenged an Allahabad high court order trashing its petition on the ground that the provision of a state plane to the CJI or CJs of the HCs had nothing to do with the independence of the judiciary.
Terming the NGO's petition as devoid of any public interest, a division bench of the HC had dismissed the PIL.
Undeterred, the NGO travelled all the way to Delhi expecting the unlikely relief from the Supreme Court. Apart from seeking special planes for the CJI, the petitioner also demanded SPG security cover for the CJI and 'Z plus' security for other CJs of HCs. "The judges need security because they convict criminals and award sentences including death penalty," it said.