BENGALURU: The Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation comes nearly a year after the proposal with names of 10 advocates sent by the then Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee on January 13, 2017, in consultation with his two seniormost colleagues as there were complaints against some advocates proposed for elevation.
Even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah conveyed his disagreement to the proposal on receiving the complaints from advocates bodies expressing concern that the names recommended do not provide opportunity of representation to the cross-section of the society on the bench of High Court.
However, the SC collegium ignored Siddaramaiah’s views since the High Court collegium had already looked into and tested the merit of such representations. Similarly, even Governor Vajubhai Vala had raised objections over efficiency of some candidates but had not specified the names.
On this, the collegium said: “We are in agreement with the views of the Governor. Intelligence Bureau, on verification, has reported that the above named recommendees enjoy a good personal and professional image and nothing adverse has come to notice against their integrity. We have looked into certain complaints making allegations against some of those recommended and are questioning their suitability for elevation to the High Court. As per comments of the Intelligence Bureau on one of these complaints, the allegations are not established or are incorrect, (and) the said complaints deserve to be ignored,” the SC collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi said in the resolution dated December 4.
On October 31, the senior counsels of Advocates Association of Bengaluru also passed a unanimous resolution threatening a hunger strike if the appointment of judges was not made before December 15. Before this deadline, the SC collegium sent its recommendations. Meanwhile, former judge of High Court A N Venugopala Gowda and two advocates moved the Karnataka High Court seeking directions for early appointment of judges.
The collegium also cleared names of 23 additional judges from the High Courts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Karnataka to be made permanent. Additional Judge G Narendar was appointed as permanent judge of the Karnataka High Court.Presently, there are 392 vacancies for judges in different HCs. Nine high courts are without full-time chief justices and there are six existing vacancies in the Supreme Court also.