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Appointed by top judges, cut by SC

The Supreme Court in May sacked a former high court judge as chief of a state consumer panel six years after the Collegium — a committee of top judges responsible for the appointment and promotion of judges — had cleared his name.

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2009 00:56 IST
Nagendar Sharma

Here’s another example of what’s wrong with the judges’ appointment procedure.

The Supreme Court in May sacked a former high court judge as chief of a state consumer panel six years after the Collegium — a committee of top judges responsible for the appointment and promotion of judges — had cleared his name.

This comes at a time when the government and judiciary are struggling to douse the fire over the proposed promotion of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran.

The Collegium thrice recommended N Kannadasan for appointment as additional judge in the Madras High Court in 2003, despite the government’s objections, official records show.

Both the then NDA government and then President APJ Abdul Kalam returned his name as he faced corruption charges.

The Collegium insisted and he was finally cleared.

But, in 2005, it refused to make him a permanent judge.

“How can two collegiums arrive at two conclusions,” asked former SC judge PB Sawant.

The then law minister Arun Jaitley and his successor HR Bhardwaj did not comment.

The Tamil Nadu government made Kannadasan president of the State Consumer Forum last year, which was challenged in the high court. The court declared his appointment “illegal”.

Kannadasan moved the Supreme Court, which on May 6 ratified the HC decision.

“The SC declared illegal an appointment cleared by top judges. This system isn’t working,” said former law minister Shanti Bhushan.