Supreme Court collegium clears 19 names for elevation as high court judges
The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has cleared names of 19 candidates for elevation as judges to various high courts and recommended names of 23 additional judges of different HCs for being made permanent.
A candidate is initially appointed as a judge of the HC for a two-year period as an additional judge and then is conferred the status of a permanent judge after the collegium is satisfied with his or her judicial work.
The names were cleared at a meeting convened on December 4. The collegium comprises the CJI and the two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. At present, justice J Chelameswar and justice Ranjan Gogoi are members of the collegium. Sources informed HT that the names cleared were those sent to the top court during justice JS Khehar’s tenure as the CJI.
The names once cleared by the collegium are sent to the Centre for approval after which a formal warrant of appointment is issued by the President. Five names were cleared for the Calcutta HC. One of the appointees, Sakya Sen, has been cleared even though he does not meet the age criterion of 45. However, considering his ability and performance and the HC’s recommendation that there was shortage of judges from the bar, the top court collegiums relaxed the age criterion in his case. Recommendation of one lawyer was rejected on the grounds he did not qualify the “income criterion”.
Nine names were cleared for Madras HC, including that of senior SC advocate Subramonium Prasad. In the case of one advocate, AV Radhakrishnan, the collegium did not find him suitable as he is more than 57 years of age. The prescribed age limit is 55.
Five laywers were elevated as judges to the Karnataka HC. With regard to four other names, the SC collegium asked the HC collegiums to reconsider them. It shot down the recommendation of one lawyer as the panel did not find him “suitable”. No reasons were spelt out for such a decision.