Centre returns names of two lawyers cleared for Allahabad High Court judgeship for second time

In an unprecedented move, the Centre has returned the names of two lawyers cleared to be appointed as judges of the Allahabad High Court for the second time after keeping them pending for over two yea

Published: 25th June 2018 04:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2018 04:05 AM   |  A+A-

Allahabad High Court (EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented move, the Centre has returned the names of two lawyers cleared to be appointed as judges of the Allahabad High Court for the second time after keeping them pending for over two years.

Deviating from established practice, the Centre has returned the files of Basharat Ali Khan and Mohammad Mansoor to the Supreme Court collegium.

In the present scheme of things, if the collegium reiterates its recommendation, the government has to make the appointment. But at the same time, the government is free to “sit on the file” for as long as it wants and delay the appointment as there is no stipulated deadline.

According to legal experts, though there is no written law on the process to be adopted by the apex court in case the government rejects its recommendation, the onus now lies with the collegium members to lay down certain rules so that the same can be adhered to in future.

Mansoor is the son of a former Supreme Court judge, the late Saghir Ahmed. Both names were recommended in 2016.

The two lawyers have been regularly appearing as senior standing counsel in the Allahabad High Court for the Yogi Adityanath government. Mansoor was the chief standing counsel when he defended the UP government’s decision to christen the anti-eve teasing police squad as the ‘Anti-Romeo Squad’.

Mansoor’s father, Justice Ahmed, had headed a working group formed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Centre-State relations with special reference to Jammu and Kashmir. In its 2009 report, the committee had recommended autonomy as a solution to the Kashmir problem. The report also recommended that the issue of whether to persist with Article 370 or abrogate it should be left to the will of the people of J&K.

This is not the first time the government has stalled an appointment after it was recommended by the collegium. One of the most notable case being of Uttarakhand High Court chief justice KM Joseph, whose case for elevation to the Supreme Court was referred back to the collegium in April this year.

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