President of India has appointed Seven Additional Judges in Madras High Court.
Ms. P.T. Asha, M. Nirmal Kumar, Subramonium Prasad, N. Anand Venkatesh, G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, Krishnan Ramasamy, and C. Saravanan are appointed as Additional Judges for a period of two years.
Nine Advocates had been recommended to be elevated to the Bench by the Supreme Court Collegium in December last year, with the then Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Koul having recommended the names in December 2016.
Those recommended were C. Emalias, Ms. P.T. Asha, M. Nirmal Kumar, Subramonium Prasad, Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, N. Anand Venkatesh, G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, Krishnan Ramasamy, and C. Saravanan.
As per reports, the Union Law Ministry has now invited seven out of the nine, excluding C. Emalias and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy without assigning any reasons for the same. Nevertheless, the appointments would increase the strength of the Judges in the High Court from 56 to 63, against a total sanctioned strength of 75.
Notably, while the SC Collegium had been sent eleven names for consideration, it had deferred the candidature of Mr. B. Pugalendhi, noting that certain "adverse but unconfirmed inputs" had been received against him. It had further 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.
Besides, it had refused to accept certain complaints against other recommendees, 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."