Amid growing clamour to change the existing system of appointing judges, three lawyers will become Delhi High Court judges despite a divided opinion in the Supreme Court on their elevation.
Four other lawyers were simultaneously rejected on the basis of unfavourable views expressed by Supreme Court judges consulted on the issue.
The recommendations of the Supreme Court collegium on Jayant Nath, Najmi Waziri, Sanjeev Sachdeva, Vibhu Bakhru and V Kameshwar Rao as judges have been accepted by the government, HT has learnt.
The collegium consulted at least five Supreme Court judges who had earlier served in the Delhi High Court before recommending these names. All the judges unanimously favoured the appointment of Nath and Sachdeva.
The opinion of judges who were consulted was, however, divided on the other three names. The collegium took note of the reservations expressed by senior judges, but finally recommended the three lawyers saying it has taken “all relevant factors into consideration, including the views of brother judges consulted,” before taking the final decision.
According to the confidential note sent to the government, the collegium concluded that none of the judges who disagreed with the names of Bakhru, Rao and Waziri, made any adverse comments on their integrity or professional competence.
The Supreme Court collegium did not accept the high court’s recommendation to appoint Batra, stating that two of the judges consulted had an adverse opinion about him. It also rejected the names of Anusuya Salwan, Maninder Acharya and Rajeev Kumar Virmani, which had been pending since two years.
“These three names were sent by the Delhi High Court collegium on earlier two occasions… after discussion at length, we are of the view that in light of the sharp division of opinion among the judges consulted it is not appropriate to recommend these names,” the collegium said.
The collegium expressed concern at the growing trend of complaints against those whose names are recommended for appointment as judges. “Such complaints appear to be sent at the behest of those with ulterior motives…we have still got these verified.”