Collegium moots 2 lawyers as SC judges

Collegium moots 2 lawyers as SC judges

Nariman, Subramaniam, Mishra, Goel figure in list

Collegium moots 2 lawyers as SC judges

In a rare decision, the Supreme Court collegium has recommended the names of two prominent senior advocates — R F Nariman and Gopal Subramaniam — for appointment as the Supreme Court judges.

Along with the two former solicitor generals (SG), two chief justices of Calcutta and Orissa high courts, Justices Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel, respectively, have also been elevated to the apex court, sources said.

The appointment of two senior advocates directly from the bar to the Supreme Court as judges comes 15 years after justice Santosh Hegde, an advocate who went on to become SG, was appointed a SC judge in 1999. Justice Hegde later served as Karnataka Lokayukta.

The decision on appointment of four judges in the apex court was taken last week in a meeting of the SC collegium headed by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha. The recommendations made at the fag end of UPA II are to be approved by the new government.

Both Nariman, 58, and Subramaniam, 56, have served as SGs during the UPA regime. They are likely to have fairly long tenure as SC judges, whose retirement age is fixed at 65.

Subramaniam was a panel member in the Justice J S Verma commission on December 16 gang-rape case. Of the notable cases, he has appeared as CBI counsel in 1993 Mumbai blasts case and 26/11 terror attack case and also represented Novartis in a patent case, besides being amicus curiae in Kerala’s Padnabhswamy temple case recently.

He was first appointed additional solicitor general in 2005 and promoted to the post of Solicitor General in 2009. But he resigned from the post in July, 2011 after Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal hired Nariman to defend government in a matter connected to the 2G case.

Subsequently, Nariman, son of jurist F S Nariman, replaced Subramaniam as SG but he also put in his papers soon after due to his differences with then Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.

Of the two judges being elevated to the SC, Justice Mishra, born on 1955, hails from Madhya Pradesh. He had earlier served as judge of the Madhya Pradesh HC and chief justice of the Rajasthan HC before his transfer to the Calcutta HC in December, 2012.

Justice Goel belongs to Haryana. He was sworn in as the chief justice of Gauhati HC in September, 2011 and transferred to the Orissa HC in October, 2013.