The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the appointment of 25 additional judges at permanent posts in five high courts and elevated 19 lawyers as judges in three high courts.
The collegium — comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and the two senior-most judges, justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi — recommended the appointments. The meeting, held on 4 December, gave its nod for the elevation of five lawyers as judges in Karnataka High Court on the recommendation of its chief justice earlier in 2017.
A candidate is initially appointed as an additional judge of the high court for a two-year period and the appointment is later made permanent if the collegium is satisfied with their judicial work, reported Hindustan Times.
Among the lawyers elevated as judges in the high court were Dixit Krishna Shripad, Shankar Ganapathi Pandit, Ramakrishna Devdas, Bhotanhosur Mallikarjuna Shyam Prasad and Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav.
Livelaw reported that the Karnataka governor and chief minister had objections to some of the names and these were rejected by the collegium. The governor had mentioned that some of the people recommended did not meet the requirement of efficiency in their performance. However, the collegium said that the governor had not specified the names of these people and the basis for forming such an opinion.
The collegium also took into account the disagreement between the Karnataka chief minister and certain bodies of advocates over non-representation of cross-sections of the society on the bench of the high court. The chief minister had advised that the entire proposal be returned to the high court for reconsideration.
The apex court body said the high court collegium had taken into account merit, experience, performance, character and conduct of the recommended persons and dealt with adequate representation.
With regard to Calcutta High Court, the collegium accepted the recommendation of the chief justice and gave its nod for the elevation of five lawyers as judges. The lawyers cleared for elevation are Shampa Sarkar, Sabyasachi Chaudhury, Ravi Krishan Kapur, Arindam Mukherjee and Sakya Sen.
Interestingly, Sakya Sen has been elevated even though he does not meet the age criterion of 45, says the Hindustan Times report. However, considering his ability and the shortage of judges from the bar, the collegium relaxed the age criterion in his case.
The collegium rejected the name of Advocate Piush Chaturvedi as "his average professional income is well below the prescribed minimum professional income limit. As he does not qualify the income criterion, the proposal for his elevation to high court does not inspire confidence and is, therefore, rejected", according to The Indian Express.
The collegium also recommended the elevation of nine advocates as judges at the Madras High Court while rejecting the name of two. Advocates C Emalias, PT Asha, M Nirmal Kumar, Subramonium Prasad, Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, N Anand Venkatesh, GK Ilanthiraiyan, Krishnan Ramasamy, and C Saravanan were elevated as judges of Madras High Court. One name was turned down because the person was older than 55, the maximum prescribed age for advocates recommended for elevation to the high court, said The Indian Express report.
With these appointments, the number of sitting judges in the Madras High Court is set to touch a record high but will still stay six short of the sanctioned strength of 75, according to The Times of India.
The Intelligence Bureau report on the advocates had revealed that they recommended advocates enjoyed "good personal and professional image and that nothing adverse has come to notice against their integrity," reported The Hindu.
Besides making the recommendation of elevation of advocates as judges in different high court, the apex court collegium also gave its nod for making 25 additional judges as permanent judges of five high courts.
Among those who were made permanent judges include justices Sandeep Sharma and Chander Sharma at the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice Narendar G at the Karnataka High Court, justices Ananda Sen and Anant Bijay Singh at the Jharkhand High Court and Justices Sanjay Agrawal and Rajendra Chandra Singh Samant at the Chhattisgarh High Court.
Eighteen additional judges were recommended for being made permanent judges in Madhya Pradesh High Court after the collegium rejected various complaints against the judges.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 07, 2017 13:49:42 IST