SC Collegium picks 4 names for apex court

SC Collegium picks 4 names for apex court

The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Justice T S Thakur has recommended elevation of 3 High Court chief justices and a senior lawyer to the apex court.

Justice A M Khanwilkar (Madhya Pradesh High Court), Justice D Y Chandrachud (Allahabad High Court) and Justice Ashok Bhushan (Kerala High Court) have been recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court, Law Ministry sources said.

Another name suggested for direct elevation as SC judge is that of senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao. Rao is a former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) who had represented Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case. He also appeared for Tamil Nadu and Vellore-based Christian Medical College to challenge the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses.

The senior advocate had a distinction of serving as ASG in UPA II and NDA government. However, he resigned from the post of law officer in December 2015 to resume his independent practice.

Rao, 59, would be the seventh person for direct elevation to the SC. He had earlier in 2014 turned down a similar offer.

In 2014, U U Lalit and R F Nariman were appointed SC judges, but the government returned the file of former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.

The fresh recommendations of four names to the apex court is also important as the appointment of judges remained stuck with the NDA government’s decision to bring in the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, scrapping the Collegium system. The law was subsequently struck down by the apex court.

The SC at present is functioning with 25 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 31.

CJI Justice Thakur will retire on January 3, 2017. Five more apex court judges Justice A R Dave will retire on November 18, Justice F M I Kalifulla on July 22, Justice V Gopala Gowda on October 5, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh on November 12 and Justice C Nagappan on October 3.

Justice Joseph transferred

Chief Justice of Uttarakhand HC Justice K M Joseph, who struck down President’s Rule in the hill state, has been transferred to the Andhra Pradesh HC, sources said. Justice D B Bhonsle, who was acting chief justice of AP HC, has been transferred to MP HC as chief justice. Rights activist and senior advocate Indira Jaising has questioned why judges who write judgments against the Central government were being transferred. 

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