Top court berth eludes judge

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  • Published 1.09.13

New Delhi, Aug 31: Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Arun Mishra has again missed an elevation to the Supreme Court.

A collegium meeting on Tuesday, presided over by Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, did not take a decision on Mishra’s elevation. Two other chief justices of the Odisha and Allahabad high courts were promoted, taking the total strength of the Supreme Court to 30, against the sanctioned 31.

Sources said Mishra still has a chance to be elevated to the apex court. The collegium meets again in December or thereafter when Justice G.S. Singhvi retires. In line with convention, one judge’s post is always kept vacant, hence Justice Mishra now has to wait for Justice Singhvi to retire.

Besides Justice Sathasivam, the other members of the collegium are Justices Singhvi, R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu and B.S. Chauhan.

This is not the first time Justice Mishra’s transfer to the apex court has proved elusive. His elevation was under consideration in June last year when Justice Deepak Verma, who represented Madhya Pradesh in the top court, was due to retire in August last year.

Expectations were high that Justice Mishra would make it to the Supreme Court as he also hails from the same state. There is an unwritten code of appointments in the Supreme Court under which every effort is made to give representation to all the states.

For some unstated reason, the promotion did not materialise then. A fresh chance came up this May when Altamas Kabir was Chief Justice of India but some members of the collegium were said to have expressed the need for a background check on Mishra.

The collegium again met on July 2, but no decision was taken as some members felt it should be left to the dispensation headed by the new Chief Justice of India, Sathasivam.