The tug of war of judicial appointments between the Centre and the Supreme Court collegium continues, with the Centre having sent back the names of two advocates recommended by the collegium for elevation as High Court judges.
According to a report by The Print, the Modi government has sent back the candidature of Harnaresh Singh Gill and Mohammed Nizamuddin, without citing anything adverse against them. While Mr. Gill was recommended for appointment as Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, Mr. Nizamuddin had been proposed to be elevated to the Calcutta High Court.
“Yes, the names have come back. They will be placed before the collegium after taking orders from the chief justice of India. But, as far as I am aware, such a thing has never happened earlier. It is highly unusual and arbitrary,” a senior Supreme Court functionary was quoted as saying.
Mr. Gill's name had been recommended by the collegium of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, along with nine others, back in June, 2016. His candidature was cleared by the Supreme Court collegium in April last year. However, it has been a long wait since then, as the Centre sat on his name while either accepting or rejecting the other names.
Mr. Nizamuddin's is a similar story. He was recommended for elevation in early 2016, along with several other names. While all the others were appointed to the bench, the Centre did not return any verdict on his candidature.
The Centre has had several such run-ins with the Supreme Court collegium since the Modi Government took charge in 2014. LiveLaw has in fact been collecting data about the pending recommendations of candidates for appointment as High Court judges. The data collected for the High Courts of Allahabad, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gauhati, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madras, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab & Haryana and Tripura shows a very sad state of affairs in terms of judicial appointments. For more insights, you may read: Exclusive: Judges Appointment-A Ping Pong Game? Is Indefinite Sitting Over The Files Choking The Judicial System? By Livelaw News Network