National Affairs

Pressure From SC: Centre Sends 70 Names For High Court Judges

After pressure from the Supreme Court regarding the appointment of High Court judges across the country, the Central Government has sent 70 names to the Collegium. 

The Center on Monday (09 October 2023) said that it has approved 70 names sent for high court judges and sent them to the Supreme Court Collegium and also decided to transfer 12 high court judges out of the 26 recommended. Is.

The Supreme Court said that the Center has finally taken note of the appointment of the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court and it will be notified soon. 

More than three months ago, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the name of Delhi High Court Justice Siddharth Mridul for the post.

In a note presented before the bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, the Center said that the files related to transfer of 14 High Court judges have been approved while the files related to 12 judges are under process.

Actually, the top court is hearing two petitions, in one of which it has been alleged that the central government is delaying in approving the names recommended by the collegium for transfer and appointment of judges. 

The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had on July 5 recommended the appointment of Delhi High Court Justice Siddharth Mridul as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court.

“The appointment of the Chief Justice in a high court of a sensitive state has finally got their attention and now they are doing it,” the bench said.

The bench will next hear the matter on October 20. The bench said that about 70 names for appointments and transfers, which were pending with the Union Ministry of Law and Justice since November 2022 and were not sent to the collegium, have suddenly come before the apex court collegium which will initiate the process on them. 

The bench said that the Supreme Court Collegium will now seek the views of the consultant judges on the recommendations made by the High Courts and the process will be completed as soon as possible. 

The bench said, “From tomorrow we will start further process on the names because we cannot suddenly complete the process on 70 names in a single day as the opinion of the consultant judges is taken… We will finish it before the October holidays.” We will try to do it if we can work on all the names.

During Monday’s hearing, the top court said that the government has no objection to the large number of names recommended by the High Court collegium. 

The bench said that it took more time than expected for the ministry to send the names to the Supreme Court Collegium and asked why the court’s intervention was required to take things forward.

After the High Court Collegium recommends the appointment of judges, this list is sent to the Union Law Ministry, which sends it to the apex court. 

The apex court then consults Supreme Court judges promoted from the respective high courts about the names suggested by the high court collegium before sending its final recommendation to the Law Ministry.

Justice Kaul said, “I am very clear, I want to complete it on the next date.” I am very, very humble, let me remain humble.”

The bench said the apex court collegium had recommended some names, but neither appointments were made nor were the names sent back to the collegium for reconsideration. 

The bench said, there is another category in which the apex court collegium has re-recommended the names which were returned to it.

“There were 80 recommendations pending till last week when 10 names were approved,” the bench said. 

Even now this figure is 70. Of these, 26 recommendations are related to transfer of judges.

The apex court, while hearing the case on September 26, had expressed disappointment over the ‘delay’ in the appointment of judges and asked the Attorney General to use his good offices to resolve the issue. 

On this, the Attorney General had sought one week’s time to take instructions from the Central Government.

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