The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Supreme Court calls for ‘clean’ judge

Ranchi, Sept. 6: While the Jharkhand High Court is struggling to fill up one vacancy from among its lawyers for the past three years, the Patna High Court has appointed eight judges from the Bar during this period.

The post of three judges in the high court remains vacant because the Centre as well as the Supreme Court rejected all the five recommendations of the high court collegium on several grounds.

Lawyers are now waiting for the “verdict” on their sixth proposal — that of Anup Kumar Mehta.

According to sources, names proposed earlier were not screened properly before being sent to the law ministry.

One nominee was reportedly rejected on grounds that he faced a matrimonial dispute while another was found not to have a lucrative practice. Yet another was found not to be a man of integrity.

The thumb rule is that the person concerned should be of good reputation not only in the Bar but also in society and should have a fairly good practice as a lawyer.

The Supreme Court rejected the proposal of B.P. Singh and B.N. Pandey as both have exceeded the permissible age limit.

Former advocate-general Anil Kumar Sinha said : “It is not that there are no competent lawyers in the high court to be appointed as judges.

According to rule, the high court collegium sends the recommendations through the governor to the law ministry, which in turn seeks report from the central and state intelligence agencies about the character and integrity and other details of the proposed nominees.

Thereafter, the ministry sends the list to the Supreme Court. The apex court, if it approves, sends back the list to the law ministry and to the Prime Minister’s Office for the notification of appointments by the President.

High hopes

The law ministry is said to have agreed to increase the strength of judges in the Jharkhand High Court to 20 from 12. Congress MP Rameshwar Oraon, quoting law minister H.R. Bharadwaj, said that the proposal had been sent to the Supreme Court for further action.

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