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Gogoi picked for Rajya Sabha — 2017 study tells us how judges manage to land such benefits

The study, which has now resurfaced, said judges who deliver verdicts in favour of the govt are more likely to get prestigious govt jobs after retirement.

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New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha four months after his retirement has reignited the debate on post-retirement jobs for judges.

Amid the debate, a research paper titled ‘Jobs for Justice(s): Corruption in the Supreme Court of India’ first published in December 2017 has resurfaced.

The paper analysed a data on post-retirement appointments of Supreme Court judges and the top court’s case list from 1999 to 2014 to conclude that judges who have authored favourable judgments in important cases are more likely to get prestigious government jobs.

“We find that judges respond to pandering incentives by ruling in favour of the government. Moreover, judges who have authored favourable judgments in important cases are more likely to receive prestigious government jobs,” the paper stated.

“Our analysis suggests that the prospect of being appointed to government positions after retirement could be a way in which the executive exercises control over an otherwise independent judiciary, in countries with judicial term limits,” it added.

The paper was written by Madhav Aney, associate professor at the School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Shubhankar Dam, professor at the University of Portsmouth School of Law, and Giovanni Ko, assistant professor at the Singapore Management University.

Also read: Modi government too wants pliant judges & that’s why post-retirement jobs will stay

How ‘pandering’ occurs

The paper defined “pandering” as being jointly determined by prominence or salience of the case, and whether the judge retires with enough time left in a government’s term to be rewarded with a prestigious job.

It then identified two channels through which pandering occurs.

First, the paper said, pandering occurs through “actively writing favourable judgments” for the government rather than simply sitting on a bench that decides the case.

Secondly, it works through “potentially harmful manipulation of actual decisions in favour of the government”, rather than passive means such as delaying unfavorable decisions or other strategic delays. 

Chances up by 15-20%

The paper found that authoring the judgment in one salient case decided in favour of the government increases the chances of getting a post-retirement job by 15 to 20 per cent. 

It, therefore, found that authoring judgments in favour of the government is “positively associated” with the likelihood of being appointed to a prestigious post-retirement job.

The paper, however, clarified that it was not identifying the motive of the government but only how these post-retirement jobs are perceived by judges.

“Nonetheless, regardless of whether the government intends to reward judges or whether it simply uses authorship of favourable decisions as a mechanism to identify compliant judges, award of post-SC jobs will have the same effect on judicial behaviour,” it said.

Also read: No cooling-off period for retired judges, Modi govt tells Parliament


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  1. After crony capitalism, this is the time to start crony judiciary. Why not modi makes judiciary as the attached organ of executive in place of misleading people? This shows only how much the government is corrupt inside.

  2. After 370, Ayodhya and CAA, Modi has given another issue for left liberals to keep drumming anti Modi propaganda which often seamlessly transforms first into anti-RSS and then anti-India rants through all possible leftist media worldwide. Librandus would continue to have sleepless nights for the time to come and people would enjoy their most irrational arguments yet to be made.

  3. Shri Ranjan Gogoi, MP is now a private individual, at liberty to make the most creative use of his time and talent. For me, what was most disappointing was how sworn affidavits tendered by that lady staffer who had been wronged to 22 colleagues went unneeded. Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud was possibly the only individual who expressed discomfort.

  4. I cannot imagine where our country is led by some self-centered ppl at the forefront. Retired Judges should never enter in politics bcos it casts a shadow on their performance when in service. This is the reason favourable judgements r given by corrupt Judges thinking of post retirement benefits.

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