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The Delhi High Court Wednesday agreed to examine the issue whether a retired judge of the Supreme Court and the high court can be debarred from taking up arbitration work while holding a constitutional post.

A bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the central government to make its stand clear on the issue by March 10.

The court was hearing a public interest petition seeking its direction to prevent a retired judge, holding a constitutional post after retirement, from taking up arbitration cases.

The petition, filed by NGO Common Cause, alleged that in violation of legal and ethical norms, retired judges, holding constitutional posts on various commissions, are taking up arbitration work.

“Giving opinions in writing on a point in issue to be produced in a court of law is a violation of Article 124(7) of the constitution which prohibits a retired judge from acting or pleading before any court or tribunal,” said advocate Prashant Bhushan.

“This petition also shows how retired judges holding constitutional, statutory posts or those who are chairpersons/members of various commissions take up arbitration work in violation of established legal and ethical norms,” he said.

“Such practice does a disservice to both the high offices these judges have held and the posts or body to which they have been appointed,” Bhushan added

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