SC restores Madras HC appointment

SC restores Madras HC appointment

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed 12 fresh appointments to the Madras High Court to be made by placing a stay order on the high court’s controversial decision which sought to stall the process.

An apex court bench of Justices B S Chauhan and J Chelameswar took exception to last week’s Madras High Court order as well as the conduct of a sitting judge of the same court, who had barged into a hearing before a special bench, arguing that the choice of judges was not fair. 

The court was hearing a public interest litigation against the proposed appointment of new judges. 

“It is a very serious matter not only for the institution but also otherwise,” the apex court observed, restraining the high court from further proceeding with the matter and transferring the case to itself.

In view of the “gravity of the situation”, the bench said the matter had to be withdrawn from the high court and be heard here by a three-judge bench. 

Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati said the process of appointments to the higher judiciary was beyond the scope of judicial review.

He said judicial review on the appointment of judges could be taken up only if such appointment lacked the eligibility criteria and the process of selection was devoid of consultation by the collegium, which comprises the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

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