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Supreme Court collegium clears 44 names for HCs

Supreme Court collegium clears 44 names for HCs”

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 decision is expected to ease some pressure on the high court's judges, as 37 posts of judges out of 62 sanctioned positions were lying vacant.

The case of advocate B. Pugalendhi for elevation to the Madras High Court has been deferred for the present in the light of "certain adverse but unconfirmed inputs" received by the Collegium, the note said. Nine high courts are without full-time chief justices and there are six existing vacancies in the Supreme Court also. Similarly, even Governor Vajubhai Vala had raised objections over efficiency of some candidates but had not specified the names. The SC collegium, which considered a total of 10 names sent by the Karnataka high court, has remitted back the names of GS Kannur, KN Phanindra, K Aravind Kamath and Naga Prasanna to the chief justice of Karnataka HC to be considered afresh by the HC collegium. We find that the allegations made therein are frivolous and / or malicious in nature and appear to have been made with an ulterior motive to put spoke in the wheel of judicial appointment process.

While one candidate, whose name was recommended by the Chhattisgarh HC collegium for appointment as Permanent Judge, has already retired, one lawyer-candidate of Calcutta HC was rejected for not meeting the income criteria. The chief minister had advised that the entire proposal be returned to the high court for reconsideration.

The collegium rejected the name of Advocate Piush Chaturvedi as "his average professional income is well below the prescribed minimum professional income limit". 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.

Among the 10 advocates recommended by the high court on January 13 for appointment, advocate Kasaravalli Chythanya Keshavamurthy was not found "suitable for elevation" in view of "material on record". 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.

However, it said, "Assessment of performance of the persons recommended is done objectively by the judiciary at the high court and Supreme Court level; and as far as integrity, character and conduct etc are concerned, Intelligence Bureau, on verification, has reported that the recommendees enjoy a good personal and professional image and nothing adverse has come to the notice against their integrity". The Collegium, on the same day, recommended advocate Arindam Lodh for appointment as judge in the Tripura High Court.

Of the 25 additional judges to be made permanent, as many as 18 are from the Madhya Pradesh High Court, two each from the Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and Himachal Pradesh HCs, and one from the Karnataka HC.



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