SC to deal with judges appointment in higher courts

SC to deal with judges appointment in higher courts

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would deal with the Union government on the administrative side on an issue of pending appointment of judges in higher courts, despite reiteration by the Collegium.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the number of such cases was more than 40.

“Apart from Karnataka High Court, do you have the figure on rest of high courts,” the bench asked senior advocate Dushyant Dave, as he sought to argue on a PIL filed by NGO 'Centre for Public Interest Litigation'.

"To my knowledge, the figure is 13 where the Collegium made reiterations of its recommendations but the government has still not issued notifications", Dave said.

“The number is more than the three times of the figure,” the bench, also comprising Justices K M Joseph and Hemant Gupta, said.

Dave said the CJI should directly address to the President to issue notifications on the appointment of judges.

“We are taking it up. Don't worry. Wait and be optimistic,” the bench said, deferring the hearing on the plea for eight weeks.

The NGO sought a direction to the government to immediately notify all recommendations for appointment of judges by the Collegium that have been pending beyond six weeks with the government without a response.

“Timely judicial appointments that ensure the smooth functioning of the courts are essential to maintain public confidence in the judiciary. The government cannot be allowed to silently veto the established process for judicial appointments,” it said.

“The government cannot frustrate the appointment process in an oblique way by sitting on the Collegium's recommendations and not responding to the names that they have been reiterated,” it said.

The petition filed in July cited cases of chief justice of Uttarakhand HC K M Joseph (now elevated to the SC), and Justice Ramendra Jain, (Punjab and Haryana HC, reiterated on April 17), Principal district and sessions judge Krishna Bhat (Karnataka HC, reiterated on April 6), Basharat Ali Khan, Mohammad Mansoor and Mohammad Nizamuddin (all three to Allahabad HC, already reiterated).