The Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its recommendation to retain Justice Ramendra Jain in his parent High Court of Punjab and Haryana.
Justice Jain was appointed as Additional Judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court in April, 2015, subject to his transfer to Karnataka High Court. The Collegium had, however, in July 2017, recommended that he be allowed to continue to function in his parent High Court, noting that he was performing well and that no information warranting his transfer had come to its notice. Department of Justice had now sought reconsideration of the Collegium's decision.
Opining that the file needs to be returned with a reiteration, the Collegium comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde, NV Ramana and Arun Mishra resolved,
"Having taken into consideration all relevant factors, the Collegium resolves to reiterate its recommendation dated 12th July, 2017. The file is returned accordingly."
Curiously, this isn't the first time that there has been a difference of opinion between the Central Government and the Collegium over Justice Jain. In April last year, for what might be another first in the tussle, the Centre had unilaterally altered the recommendation to extend Justice Jain's term instead of making him permanent.
The Collegium had first recommended appointment of Justice Jain as a permanent Judge in March, 2018. The Centre, however, sat on the recommendation, despite the Collegium's request to process it expeditiously as Justice Jain's term was set to expire on the next month.
Thereafter, two days before his term was to end, the collegium had reiterated its recommendation for his appointment. In its resolution, the Collegium had noted that the issue of his transfer had already been dealt with on 12 July 2017, recording "specific reasons for retaining him in the Punjab and Haryana High Court".
Despite this recommendation, the Centre had chosen to only extend Justice Jain's term, in violation of the settled law which mandates that the Centre must accept the Collegium's recommendation if it is reiterated a second time.
He was then finally appointed as a permanent judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in October last year.
Read the Notification Here