SC collegium to meet after July to consider 120 proposals for appointment to high courts

The proposals to be taken up include recommendations from the courts of Madras, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab & Haryana, Allahabad, Delhi, and Kerala. The government has also requested the collegium to reconsider 10-15 proposals.

Reuters
The Supreme Court collegium is expected to meet in or after July to consider around 120 proposals for the appointment of judges to high courts.

The proposals to be taken up include recommendations from the courts of Madras, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab & Haryana, Allahabad, Delhi, and Kerala.

The government has also requested the collegium to reconsider 10-15 proposals from the high courts of Punjab, Kerala, Allahabad. Madras, Karnataka and Delhi, ET has learnt.


One of the oldest recommendations is that of C Emalias, who was recommended as a judge of the Madras HC by the Supreme Court collegium in 2017.

The collegium, while making the recommendation of Emalias along with other advocates observed that the Intelligence Bureau had found nothing adverse against their integrity.

The collegium observed that the allegations made against them are “frivolous and/or malicious in nature and appear to have been made with an ulterior motive to put spoke in the wheel of the judicial appointment process”.
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“In our considered opinion, hardly any credence can be attached to such complaints, particularly in the light of positive material regarding the suitability of the recommendees, whose names are being approved by this collegium."

It also found no merit in observations made by the law ministry against Emalias either.

While reiterating his name on August 1, 2018, the collegium recorded “we do not find any prima facie substance, and hence we are not persuaded to reconsider the matter. The complaints placed in the file being devoid of merit, deserve to be ignored. The collegium resolves to reiterate its recommendation”.

The government, however, again requested the collegium to reconsider the recommendation.
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In July, the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had written to the government and sought its response on “10 more cases which the collegium had deferred earlier but is not in a position to take up the same for consideration as certain information is awaited from the government”.

One of the deferred cases is that of Saurabh Kirpal of Delhi High Court.
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The collegium had in February sought information from the government, but despite a lot of back and forth, there is no clarity on the appointment.

The collegium has deferred its decision on the proposed judgeship of Kirpal on three occasions and also asked the government for additional information. The lawyer's elevation as a judge was unanimously approved and recommended by the Delhi High Court collegium on October 13, 2017.

Further, in the case of Karnataka High court, another appointment still undecided is that of Nagendra Ramachandra Naik. The original recommendation was forwarded by the High Court in February last year.

On October 3, last year Supreme Court Collegium recommended Naik along with others after finding him fit to be appointed as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court.

It said, " The Collegium has taken note of the observations made by the Department of Justice in the file as well as complaints received against the above-named recommendees... On the basis of interaction and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Nagendra Ramachandra Naik... (plus seven more) are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Karnataka High Court."

There was, however, a request from the government for a rethink on the proposal.
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