SC Dismisses Plea Against Appointment Of Madras HC Judge Justice Subramonium Prasad Alleging That He Has Not Practiced Before Madras HC

SC Dismisses Plea Against Appointment Of Madras HC Judge Justice Subramonium Prasad Alleging That He Has Not Practiced Before Madras HC

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph on Monday dismissed the challenge to the elevation of Justice Subramonium Prasad as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court in June this year.

The bench was hearing the SLP preferred by advocate M. Radhakrishnan against the June 11 judgment of the High Court rejecting his argument that Justice Prasad has not practiced at the Madras High Court or any subordinate court within its jurisdiction for a minimum period of 10 years, as required under Article 217, and consequently, the collegium which recommended his appointment to the bench could not be said to have had sufficient opportunity to assess his performance.

It is, however, not in dispute that Justice Prasad had been an advocate with a practice far exceeding the requisite ten years under Article 217(2) of the Constitution.

The division bench of the High Court, headed by then Chief Justice Indira Bannerjee, had observed that though eligibility of an appointee could fall within the scope of judicial review, the question as to who should be elevated essentially involves the aspect of suitability and stands excluded from the scope of judicial review.

If the consideration were only to be based on Court appearance, it would be impossible for any Collegium to consider advocates practicing in Courts subordinate to the High Court, or even advocates practicing in the same High Court, with very good practice but inadequate number of appearances before the Chief Justice or Collegium Judges, for a meaningful assessment of their suitability to be elevated to the Bench, the court had said.

The SC bench headed by CJI however dismissed the petition as lacking in merits.