NEW DELHI: With the Collegium recommendation of nine persons for elevation as Supreme Court judges sent to the Centre for approval, the issue of equal representation has cropped up again. There are many high courts which have got no representation at all for several years.
A look at the data from 1985 reveals that Delhi, Bombay and Allahabad high courts dominate the selection of judges to the Supreme Court. Presently, the top court has a working strength of 24 judges against the sanctioned strength of 34. Of them, four belong to Bombay High Court, three each to Delhi and Andhra Pradesh (undivided), two each to Karnataka, Allahabad, West Bengal and Rajasthan. There are one each from Kerala, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Assam.
Those who have remained unrepresented in the apex court for a long time are six Northeast states, Odisha, J&K, Himachal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Sikkim and Goa. Even though these states had judges who could have been elevated, it never happened. In the present Collegium recommendation, there are names from six states — Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, UP and Tamil Nadu.
Bombay High Court has produced the most number of Supreme Court judges till date. It also leads when it comes to Chief Justices of India, with seven out of 43. Calcutta is comes next with six, followed by Allahabad with five. Karnataka High Court has had four judges who have adorned the post of Chief Justice of India.
Though there are no specific rules for regional origin, Collegium resolutions and the government had tried to maintain regional representation. Regional representation is based on a Supreme Court judge’s parent high court, where they first became a high court judge. However, one can also become a Supreme Court judge directly while being a lawyer.