Centre Clears appointment of 5 new judges to Supreme Court
NEW DELHI : Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Allahabad High Court judge Manoj Misra will now be Supreme Court judges..
The Centre has now notified all the above five names as judges to the apex court. The top court, which has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges including the Chief Justice, is functioning with 27 judges presently.
Amid the long-drawn tussle between the Centre and the judiciary over appointment of judges, the Centre on Saturday cleared the names of five judges for appointment to the Supreme Court. In strong comments referring to the delay in approving the transfers of high court judges, the top court had said, “Don’t make us take a stand which will be very uncomfortable… You will make us take some very, very difficult decisions.”
The collegium system has become a major flashpoint between the Supreme Court and the centre, with the mechanism of judges appointing judges fuelling an intense debate that, in a departure from tradition, has seen sharp comments by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.
The collegium headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on December 13 last year had recommended the five judges for elevation to the Supreme Court. Later, on January 31, the collegium recommended the names of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar for elevation as Supreme Court judges as well.
While recommending the two names earlier this week, the Collegium had said, “The names recommended earlier by the collegium by its resolution dated December 13, 2022, shall have precedence over the two names recommended presently for appointment to the Supreme Court.”
On December 13, 2022, a statement uploaded on the apex court website had said: “The Supreme Court collegium in its meeting held on December 13 has resolved to recommend elevation of the following chief justices/judges of the high courts as judges in the Supreme Court: Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court (parent high court (PHC): Allahabad); Justice Sanjay Karol, Chief Justice, Patna High Court (PHC: Himachal Pradesh); Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Justice, Manipur High Court (PHC: Telangana); Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, Judge, Patna High Court; and Justice Manoj Misra, Judge, Allahabad High Court.”
On Friday, Attorney General R. Venkataramani had informed a bench comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka that the names of the five judges will be cleared very soon. The Supreme Court had warned the Centre over the delay in clearing the transfer of high court judges recommended by the apex court collegium, saying it may result in both administrative and judicial actions which may not be palatable. The bench had said, “Don’t make us take a stand which will be very uncomfortable,” adding that if transfer of judges is kept pending, it becomes a serious issue.
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).