The Supreme Court on Thursday orally remarked that there is no bar in considering advocates practicing in the Supreme Court for judgeship at High Courts.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant made this remark while hearing a matter relating to judicial appointments.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, who also happens to be the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, submitted before the bench that High Court collegiums are not considering the names of Supreme Court lawyers.
Disagreeing with Singh, the bench said that there are many instances of Supreme Court lawyers being made High Court judges.
"We do recommend lawyers practicing before us", CJI Bobde said.
"There are many examples...High Courts of Punjab &Haryana, Madras etc., have appointed lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court", Justice Kaul said.
"It is done only as an exception, not as a norm", Singh replied.
He urged the bench to make an observation in the order that there is no bar in considering Supreme Court lawyers for High Court judgeship. While the bench agreed that there is no such bar, it was not inclined to pass an order to that effect.
"There is no bar..the problem is that some bar associations call such people outsiders...we don't understand that", CJI Bobde said.
"If there is a judicial order, or some reference, it will help. Why should the system lose good names?", Singh replied.
"We are completely in agreement with your sentiment. The only thing is whether we should put it in order or not", the CJI responded.
This exchange took place while the bench was hearing the case PLR Projects Ltd vs Mahanadi Coalfields Pvt Ltd, in which the bench is considering the issue of vacancies in High Courts.
The bench observed that the Law Ministry should respond to Collegium recommendations within a reasonable time period and sought a statement from the Attorney General regarding the time needed to clear 55 pending recommendations.
The matter will be next considered on April 8.