Article 18 of Constitution of India is as under:
“18. Abolition of titles.—(1) No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.
(2) No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.
(3) No person who is not a citizen of India shall, while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State, accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State.
(4) No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall, without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument, or office of any kind from or under any foreign State.” (Italics added)
From the use of words “military or academic” above it is clear that use of Doctor or Professor or Engineer or Major etc. is permissible but retired judges continue to use the expression ‘JUSTICE’ as a prefix to their name. The retired Chief Justice also uses Justice as prefix and not the Chief Justice. The question is can they use this prefix like a title after they demit their office? And is it Constitutional? I am open to ideas! But the question requires a debate.
The real problem will arise if somebody repeats Late M.C. Chagla and becomes a Minister or Governor after retirement or leaving the office. Then clearly he would not use this prefix as it would conflict with the official title.
© Sandeep Bhalla