Supreme Court clears names of 35 candidates for High Court Judgeship

Supreme Court clears names of 35 candidates for High Court Judgeship

Supreme Court Collegium has approved the appointment of over 35 candidates as High Court Judges, reported Economic Times.

The Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur has approved appointments to the High Courts of Madras, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Allahabad, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The Law Ministry has reportedly started working on the procedure of appointment of these candidates.

“The apex court, by giving a go-ahead to over 35 names, has made it clear that the names of those in the pipeline can be cleared as per the original MoP,” said a senior government official was quoted as saying. “The government will waste no time in expediting the exercise of their appointment,” the person added.

The collegium had, last week, recommended Judges to occupy the post of Chief Justice for the High Courts of Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Orissa, Bombay, Gauhati and Gujarat. You may read the LiveLaw story here.

It was reported by LiveLaw that in a meeting convened earlier this month, the five member SC collegium has, in principle, decided to start the process of filling over 400 vacancies in High Courts throughout the country and 5 in the Supreme Court. It has agreed to go ahead with the process without necessarily waiting for the Centre to prepare a fresh memorandum of procedure (MoP) for fixing the eligibility and other criteria for the judges. You may read the LiveLaw article, here.

Last month, Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had effectively put the ball back in the Government’s Court, giving it the liberty to finalize a draft memorandum of procedure for appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Without giving any direction on the method of amendment of the MoP, the Court had urged that the same must reflect transparency in the appointment of judges, eligibility criteria for candidates and procedure for dealing with complaints against them. You may read the LiveLaw story here.

Union Law Minister Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda had also recently conveyed that the Central Government is ready to consider appointment of 115 judges and regularize 87 additional judges of the High Courts already in the pipeline. He had assured that the Government would not have any “ego problem” in considering them under the existing Memorandum of Procedure as the draft of the new MoP is under preparation as per the direction of the Apex Court, which had struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). You may read the LiveLaw story here.

The vacancies within the higher judiciary have been mounting since October last year, when the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act as unconstitutional. You may read the judgment and LiveLaw story here.