Collegium resends 9 names

The Supreme Court collegium has reaffirmed nine candidates for appointment as high court judges, after the Centre raised objections, while agreeing to reconsider six other nominations.

By R. Balaji
  • Published 5.08.18
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Supreme Court. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium has reaffirmed nine candidates for appointment as high court judges, after the Centre raised objections, while agreeing to reconsider six other nominations.

It has also told the government that prospective high court judges need not give an undertaking saying they have no "blood relatives" practising as advocates in the same high court.

The Centre had suggested that such an undertaking would be a shield against any "conflict of interest" allegations after a judge is appointed.

On December 4 last year, the collegium had clarified in connection with the appointment of judges to Calcutta High Court that such undertakings relate merely to an administrative matter and are not mandatory.

"Lastly, we have also taken note of two complaints received in the office of Chief Justice of India making allegations against two of the... recommendees (for Karnataka High Court). We have examined the complaints and do not find any prima facie substance (to) these complaints, which deserve to be ignored," the collegium said in a resolution uploaded on Friday night.

It reiterated its recommendations for judicial officers Ashok Golappa Nijagannavar, Hethur Puttaswamy Gowda Sandesh, Krishnan Natarajan, Pralhadrao Govindrao Mutalik Patil and Appasaheb Shantappa Bellunke to be appointed to Karnataka High Court as judges.

Advocate Amit Negi has been reconfirmed for appointment to Allahabad High Court as a judge.

"The proposal in respect of Shri Amit Negi was, however, withheld by the Supreme Court collegium in June 2017 in the light of certain inputs relating to filing of an FIR against him. These inputs were sent to the department of justice," it said.

But, it added, the collegium later learnt that the high court had quashed the FIR and the Uttar Pradesh government had decided not to appeal. So, the collegium "resolves to revive its earlier recommendation... (and) the proposal for the elevation of... Amit Negi needs to be processed further most expeditiously".

The collegium has reiterated the appointment of Harnaresh Singh Gill to Punjab and Haryana High Court and those of advocates Emalias and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy to Madras High Court.

It has rejected the Centre's objections against Emalias and Ramamoorthy, which were based on allegations made against them by fellow advocates in Tamil Nadu.

"We do not find any prima facie substance (to the complaints) and hence we are not persuaded to reconsider the matter. The complaints placed in the file being devoid of merit, deserve to be ignored," the collegium said.

However, the collegium has agreed to reconsider the nominations of advocates B.N. Maheshwara and Arun Kumar Krishnan as Karnataka High Court judges, and of Basharat Ali Khan and Mohd Mansoor as Allahabad High Court judges.

It has decided to send back advocate Bharroo Prakash Sharma's file to the Chhattisgarh High Court chief justice seeking information in relation to queries raised by the Union law ministry.

The collegium has also asked the Madras High Court chief justice to reconsider afresh the nomination of Sarodjiny Devi, citing the Centre's objections.