The Supreme Court collegium has recommended 9 names to the government for taking over as regular chief justices for high courts signalling a move ahead amid a face-off between the executive and judiciary over the authority to appoint judges, an Indian Express report said on Tuesday.
The Express quoted unnamed sources as saying that the names recommended are: justice Hemant Gupta for Madhya Pradesh high court; justice Abhilasha Kumari for Tripura high court; justice BD Ahmed for Jammu and Kashmir high court; justice Pradeep Nandarajog for Rajasthan high court; justice Rajendra Menon for Patna high court; justice T Vaiphei for Hyderabad high court; justice HG Ramesh for Madras high court; justice TB Radhakrishnan for Chhattisgarh high court and justice PK Mohanty for Jharkhand high court.
The report said 4 of these names take into account the vacancies likely to be created in high courts after their chief justices are elevated to the top court as judges following the recommendation made separately by the collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, to the government last week.
The existing memorandum of procedure (MoP) on the appointment of judges say that “ordinarily the arrangement of appointment of an acting chief justice should not be made for more than one month.”
A logjam between the judiciary and the executive - with almost all major recommendations by the collegium getting blocked by the government - followed after the top court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) in October 2015 and revived the collegium.
It has delayed the appointment of new judges to high courts and the top court. The Supreme Court is in desperate need for judges as it is short of seven and is battling a backlog of 60,000 cases.
This could be the highest number of appointments of chief justices in one go if the government clears the recommended names.