The Delhi high court on Thursday refused to stay the oath-taking ceremony of four new judges of the Supreme Court on a plea made against their elevation to the apex court.
The four new judges, whose names have been recommended by the Supreme Court collegium and approved by President Pranab Mukherjee, are likely to be sworn in on Friday.
Justice Manmohan turned down an oral plea made by advocate RP Luthra on his petition challenging the elevation.
“You have not filed any application. How can I hear it? Something must come before me. What should I allow? There must be an early hearing application as the matter is already fixed for tomorrow. There is no such application. Neither is there any application for oath ceremony (likely to be held tomorrow).”
“I will allow in air or what? This is not that I’m hearing any matter at my residence. I am hearing in the court of law. There is some procedure, I cannot change that. You will have to file a proper application and get it listed before hearing the matter,” the judge said.
The judge also said, “I cannot allow any of your requests made orally.”
The court however said, “Still there is vacancy in Supreme Court. The lot has not yet been filled up. So you can try next time.”
The court is already hearing pleas filed by Delhi-based lawyer Luthra and Mumbai-based lawyer, Mathews J Nedumpara, who have also sought directions restraining the collegium from recommending appointments to the higher judiciary and the government from acting on the recommendations till the system is “defect-free and fool-proof”.
Meanwhile, another petition by advocate VP Tripathi on same grounds was today mentioned before a bench of justices BD Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva who refused to list the matter for today saying there is “no urgency and there are already petitions challenging the recommendations. So your petitions too will come in the due course”.
The high court had on Wednesday refrained from passing any interim stay order on their pleas challenging the collegium’s recommendation and after a brief hearing of arguments it had adjourned the matter for Friday.
The four judges to be sworn in are justice A M Khanwilkar of Madhya Pradesh high court, justice D Y Chandrachud of Allahabad high court, justice Ashok Bhushanof Kerala high court and senior lawyer and former additional solicitor general L Nageshwar Rao to the Supreme Court. The names were cleared by the President yesterday.