BENGALURU/ NEW DELHI: In some relief to the issue of pendency of cases, the Supreme Court collegium has cleared as many as 19 names of advocates as judges of the Madras, Karnataka and Calcutta high courts. Of these five names have been picked for appointment as judges of the Karnataka High Court, pending approval of the Union government. The Karnataka High Court collegium had sent 10 names.
The five advocates are Dixit Krishna Shripad (Assistant Solicitor General of India-Karnataka), Shankar Ganapathi Pandit, Ramakrishna Devdas (Principal Government Advocate), Bhotanhosur Mallikarjuna Shyam Prasad and Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav.
Of the remaining five names, four have been sent back to High Court collegium for review, with this observation: “We are of the view that proposal for their elevation deserves to be remitted to the Chief Justice of the High Court for fresh consideration by the present collegium.” They are Gurudas Shyamrao Kannur, Kuloor Arvind Kamath, Kanakatte Narayana Phanindra and Maheshan Nagaprasanna. On candidature of Kasaravalli Chythanya Keshavamurthy, the Apex Court collegium merely said, “We do not find him suitable for elevation.”
The collegium move comes as some relief. If all fives names are approved by the Union government, it will only constitute 8 per cent of the total 60 per cent vacancies of judges in Karnataka High Court, which stands third highest in vacancies among 24 high courts in India. Currently, there are 37 vacancies. Only 25 judges are working as against 62, which is the sanctioned strength. The sitting judges are overburdened with over 2.5 lakh pending cases and advocates and litigants are experiencing inconvenience due to delays in adjudicating cases.
Collegium rejects CM, Guv objections
Supreme Court collegium approved the five names despite objections from the Chief Minister and Governor’s office over some names forwarded by the Karnataka High Court collegium. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had expressed concern that the names recommended do not provide adequate representation a cross-section of the society on the bench of High Court. Similarly, even Governor Vajubhai Vala had raised objections over efficiency of some candidates but had not specified the names.