Housing ministry moots a bigger office-cum-residence complex for CJI

The collegium and the staff associated with it currently operates from two rooms at the residence of the CJI. There are no meeting rooms at the bungalow and also there is a shortage of space. Therefore, all collegium meetings are held in the Supre...

Agencies
The new complex would house the secretariat of the CJI, a record room and also host the meetings of the Supreme Court collegium.
NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is “seriously considering” a proposal to integrate two bungalows in Lutyens’ Delhi, including the residence of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), to establish a bigger office-cum-residence complex for the CJI.

Once cleared, 5 Krishna Menon Marg, the CJI’s officially designated house, will be consolidated with the adjacent bungalow, 7 Krishna Menon Marg, a senior official told ET.

“We are seriously and positively considering the proposal to assimilate the two bungalows,” the official said.


The new complex would house the secretariat of the CJI, a record room and also host the meetings of the Supreme Court collegium.

The collegium and the staff associated with it currently operates from two rooms at the residence of the CJI. There are no meeting rooms at the bungalow and also there is a shortage of space. Therefore, all collegium meetings are held in the Supreme Court complex.

On October 17, the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had written to Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad on the “necessity of providing proper infrastructure to the Chief Justice’s residence as well as the office for effective management and functioning of the office”.
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Inquiries revealed that the NDA government, when hearings over the National Judicial Appointments Commission were underway in the Supreme Court, had allocated Bungalow No AB13 on Tilak Marg for setting up the office of the then proposed commission.

Justice Gogoi had written that there was a shortage of space at Bungalow No 5 Krishna Menon Marg, and extension of the residential and office blocks, besides creation of the office of the Secretariat of the Chief Justice of India, was long overdue.

“It is proposed that the premises of Bungalow No 5 Krishna Menon Marg maybe integrated and consolidated with the adjacent bungalow, 7 Krishna Menon Marg, which is also part of the judges pool, thereby carving out appropriate space for the establishment of a secure office-cum-residence complex and record room for the Secretariat of the Chief Justice of India and enable remodelling of the residential and office blocks of the premises,” Justice Gogoi had suggested to the government.

In 2015, the government had proposed that there should be a fully equipped permanent Secretariat of the Collegium with sufficient office space for officers and staff.
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Justice Gogoi, while referring to draft Memorandum of Procedure for appointments to the higher judiciary, had reminded the government that the proposal was accepted in principle by the Supreme Court collegium.

He had also reproduced the relevant part of the draft MOP prepared by the government, according to which “A permanent secretariat shall be set up in the Supreme Court to assist the Supreme Court collegium in discharge of its functions … The main functions of the secretariat would include a database of judges in the high courts, scheduling the meetings of the Supreme Court collegium, maintaining a record of proceedings and receiving recommendations/complaints in the matters relating to the appointment of judges. The secretariat may comprise the staff and officers of the Supreme Court to be appointed on a rotation basis by the Chief Justice of India.”
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Justice Gogoi wrote that such a consolidation would require the addition of one more Type Eight Bungalow in the judges’ pool that comprised 34 bungalows.
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