SC Collegium tells govt to process HC judge appointment

Rejecting the Union government's request for reconsideration, the Supreme Court Collegium has asked the Centre to process "most expeditiously" a recommendation made twice earlier for elevation of judicial officer P Krishna Bhat as a judge of the Karnataka High Court.

The Collegium had first recommended his name way back in August 2016. It was reiterated on April 6, 2017.

However, the Union government still sought reconsideration of the proposal, which was seen as "interference into appointment of judges."

"On reconsideration of the proposal, referred back by the Department of Justice, Government of India to the Chief Justice of India, the Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on 15th October, 2019, has resolved to recommend that its recommendation be processed most expeditiously," a statement issued by the Collegium stated.

In a hard-hitting letter to the then CJI and all judges, Justice J Chelameswar (since retired) had in March, 2018 questioned the government's act of writing a letter directly to the Karnataka High Court's then chief justice Dinesh Maheshwari, now a Supreme Court judge, who had ordered an inquiry on some "old allegations" against Bhat by a woman judge.

He had asked the CJI to convene a full court to discuss "government's interference" in the appointment of judges to the high courts.

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