A Simple Query to CJI Chandrachud Leads to Notable Transformation in Supreme Court

LI Network

Published on: 15 August 2023 at 11:26 IST

In an unexpected turn of events, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud was confronted with a seemingly simple question during a recent overseas trip, leading to a significant transformation within the Supreme Court.

During his trip, CJI Chandrachud became aware of the varying heights of chairs designated for judges within the Court, prompting a decision to ensure uniformity by setting all chairs at the same height.

As part of an endeavor to modernize the Court’s infrastructure, a new series of chairs has been introduced that can be adjusted according to the judges’ individual comfort and convenience.

Officials at the Supreme Court Registry revealed that judges had been adjusting their chairs according to their preferences for an extended period. However, the incongruity in chair heights across the benches had previously escaped notice by the authorities.

The issue was raised by an inquisitive individual in the audience during an event in the UK, where CJI Chandrachud was present.

Acknowledging the concern, the Chief Justice took action upon his return to India, instructing Supreme Court officials to ensure proper support for the shoulders, neck, back, and thighs in the chairs while maintaining a consistent height.

Upon the resumption of the Supreme Court’s proceedings, the chairs were reconfigured to ensure uniform height, offering enhanced support for the back and shoulders. Officials disclosed that these chairs had been in use for several decades, though the exact year of procurement remained unknown.

While the chairs’ traditional design had been preserved over time, prior adjustments were made based on the specific needs and preferences of individual judges.

Former Chief Justices, including NV Ramana and the current CJI Chandrachud, had previously customized their chairs to accommodate orthopedic requirements.

However, despite recent modifications, certain issues remained unresolved. For instance, Justice Surya Kant, who experiences back pain, was observed using a smaller office chair during a hearing on August 2, which raised questions about the constitutional amendments related to Article 370.

This initiative to standardize the heights of judges’ chairs within the Supreme Court is aimed at providing a more consistent and comfortable experience for the judges.

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