The Supreme Court collegium, on Monday, resolved to recommend the names of 19 Advocates for appointment as Judges in the High Courts of Madras, Karnataka and Calcutta.
Madras High Court
The Collegium resolved to recommend the appointment of nine Advocates as Judges of the Madras High Court.
The recommendations had been made on 19 December, 2016 by the then Chief Justice of Madras High Court. The collegium noted that the Chief Minister and Governor of the State of Tamil Nadu have concurred with the proposal for elevation of all the candidates.
It then resolved to recommend C. Emalias, Ms. P.T. Asha, M. Nirmal Kumar, Subramonium Prasad, Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, N. Anand Venkatesh, G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, Krishnan Ramasamy, and C. Saravanan.
It, however, refused to recommend Mr. A.V. Radhakrishnan, as he had crossed the maximum age limit of 55 years, which is prescribed for Advocates for being recommended to the post. It, further, deferred the candidature of Mr. B. Pugalendhi, noting that certain "adverse but unconfirmed inputs" had been received against him.
"The Collegium considers it appropriate to get the same verified before taking final decision on the proposal for his elevation. Consideration of the proposal for his elevation can wait till the verification is got done by the Collegium. In that view of the matter, the proposal for elevation of Shri B. Pugalendhi is deferred for the present," the collegium opined.
It also refused to accept certain complaints against the recommendations, observing, "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. In our considered opinion, hardly any credence can be attached to such complaints, particularly in the light of positive material regarding suitability of the recommendees, whose names are being approved by this Collegium."
Calcutta High Court
The Collegium resolved to recommend the appointment of five Advocates as Judges of the Calcutta High Court.
Those approved for elevation are Shampa Sarkar, Sabyasachi Chaudhury, Ravi Krishan Kapur, Arindam Mukherjee, and Sakya Sen.
The Collegium, however, rejected the recommendation of Mr. Piush Chaturvedi, as his average professional income was found to be below the prescribed minimum professional income limit.
The Collegium noted that Mr. Sabyasachi Chaudhury had crossed the minimum age threshold of 45 years since the time of his name being recommended. In case of Mr. Sakya Sen, it relaxed the age criterion, noting that both the Advocates "appear to have been recommended by the High Court Collegium considering their ability and performance in the Court and the shortage of Judges from the Bar".
It also considered it appropriate to overlook the fact that Mr. Arindam Mukherjee does not have many reported or unreported judgments to his credit, noting, "In our view, number of reported / unreported judgments is just one of the factors and not the only factor to determine suitability of a recommendee for purpose of elevation."
Further, it agreed to let go of the requirement of obtaining an undertaking from Mr. Ravi Krishan Kapur's father, who is a practicing Advocate at the High Court, opining, "As per record, this practice of requiring an undertaking from a practicing relation of a recommendee is based on mere administrative instructions and is not a mandatory requirement."
Karnataka High Court
The Collegium resolved to recommend the appointment of five Advocates as Judges of the Karnataka High Court.
Those approved for elevation are Dixit Krishna Shripad, Shankar Ganapathi Pandit, Ramakrishna Devdas, Bhotanhosur Mallikarjuna Shyam Prasad and Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav.
The Collegium, however, rejected the candidature of four Advocates- G.S. Kannur, K. Arvind Kamath, K.N. Phanindra, and Maheshan Nagaprasanna, sending their names back to the Chief Justice of the High Court for consideration. Another Advocate, K.C. Keshavamurthy, was considered unsuitable for elevation.
The Collegium noted that the Chief Minister had expressed his reservations on the proposal citing representations that allege that the list does not provide adequate representation to different sections of society. It, however, did not look into the matter, in view of observations made by the High Court collegium, opining, "In this regard, it is important to take note of the fact, as recorded in the Minutes dated 8th December, 2016, 11th and 13th January, 2017, the High Court Collegium has taken into account merit, experience, performance, character and conduct of the recommendees. The Collegium has recorded that it has “given adequate representation to all the sections of the society to the extent possible considering the merit of the respective candidates”. Since the High Court Collegium has already looked into and tested merit of such representations, need for any further examination thereof stands obviated."
It also noted that the Governor of the State had conveyed that some of the candidates do not meet the standards of efficiency and performance. He had, however, not specified any particular names.
Taking the Governor's views into consideration, the Collegium explained, "We are in agreement with the view of the Governor that the persons recommended may be appointed only after a thorough objective assessment of their performance and integrity. In this regard, it need not be emphasized that assessment of performance of the persons recommended is done objectively by the judiciary at 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 above named recommendees enjoy a good personal and professional image and nothing adverse has come to notice against their integrity."
It further decided to ignore the complaints received against some of the candidates, in view of the clearance received from the Intelligence Bureau.
Recommendation for appointment of Additional Judges as permanent
Chhattisgarh High Court
The Collegium resolves to recommend that the proposal for appointment of Mr. Justices (1) Sanjay Agrawal and (2) Rajendra Chandra Singh Samant, Additional Judges as Permanent Judges of the Chhattisgarh High Court be processed at the earliest.
Jharkhand High Court
The Collegium resolves to recommend that Mr. Justices (1) Ananda Sen, and (2) Anant Bijay Singh, Additional Judges be appointed as Permanent Judges of the Jharkhand High Court
Collegium resolves to recommend that Mr. Justice Narendar G., Additional Judge, be appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Karnataka High Court.
MP High Court
The Collegium resolves to recommend that Mr. Justices (1) Atul Shreedharan, (2) Sushrut Arvind Dharmadhikari, (3) Vivek Rusia, (4) Anand Pathak, (5) Ved Prakash Sharma, (6) Jagdish Prasad Gupta, (7) Anurag Kumar Shrivastava, (8) Housla Prasad Singh, (9) Ashok Kumar Joshi, (10) Vivek Agarwal, (11) Smt. Nandita Dubey, (12) Rajeev Kumar Dubey, (13) Smt. Anjuli Palo, (14) Virender Singh, (15) S.K. Awasthi, (16) Vijay Kumar Shukla, (17) G.S. Ahluwalia, and (18) Subodh Abhyankar, Additional Judges, be appointed as Permanent Judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court
Read the Collegium Resolutions