The government has asked the panel of the country’s five top judges (the Supreme Court collegium) to reconsider its recommendation for promoting the chief justices of Karnataka, Madras and Orissa high courts to the apex court.
The law and justice ministry, following directions from the prime minister’s office, has returned the file containing the names of justices Vikramjit Sen (Karnataka), MY Eqbal (Madras) and V Gopalagowda (Orissa) for elevation, HT has learnt.
The government is understood to have raised “certain queries” on the recommendation. It has suggested that the Supreme Court should have the widest possible representation from different states.
The collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir, is expected to meet early next week to decide its next course of action on the queries raised by the government on its recommendations.
According to rules based on a 1993 judgment of the Supreme Court, the government has the option of returning the collegium’s recommendation once. But in case the collegium sends the same names for the second time, the government is bound to accept them and notify the appointments.
The government has already hinted that it is working towards changing the existing collegium system for appointment and promotion of judges in high courts and the Supreme Court.