Action Might Not Be Palatable

'Action may not be reasonable': Supreme Court Alert Center in the midst of chaos

Previously, the Supreme Court had said the Center should appoint judges within three to four weeks

New Delhi:

Facing a number of conundrums from the Supreme Court, the Center on Friday assured the Collegium’s pending recommendations to elevate five senior court justices to the supreme court soon. approved and orders to appoint them could be issued on Sunday.

A bench of Judges SK Kaul and AS Oka also expressed displeasure at the delay in passing recommendations on the transfer of senior court judges, calling it “a very serious matter”. important” and warned that any delay in this matter could result in administrative and judicial action. which may not be appetizing.

Asked about the status of the Supreme Court’s class-action recommendations to the top court during a hearing on the two petitions, Attorney General R Venkataramani said the order to appoint the five justices is expected. will be issued soon.

“When, is the next question? We are not talking about dates. Two days, three days or four days, when will the order be issued?”, the bench asked.

Mr Venkataramani said: “I was told that on Sunday it could be issued.

The Supreme Court, while addressing the issue of delays in adopting recommendations on the transfer of senior court judges, also commented: “Don’t force us to take a stand, this will be very difficult. upset.” “You’re going to make us make some very, very difficult decisions. The Collegium system has become a major flashpoint between the Supreme Court and the Center, with its judge-appointment mechanism drawing criticism from different regions.

The panel headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on December 13 last year proposed five judges to be elevated to the Supreme Court — Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice of the High Court Patna Sanjay Karol , Chief Justice of Manipur High Court PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court Judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Allahabad High Court Judge Manoj Misra.

Afterward. on January 31, Collegium proposed to the Center the names of Chief Justice of Allahabad Rajesh Bindal and Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Aravind Kumar for promotion as High Court judge.

While proposing two names earlier this week, Collegium said, “The names previously proposed by Collegium under the resolution of December 13, 2022 will take precedence over the two names currently proposed for appointment. to the Supreme Court.” The highest court, which has 34 sanctioned judges including the CJI, currently operates with 27 judges.

The Court, is adjudicating two petitions, one of which concerns the Center’s alleged delay in clearing names recommended by the Council to appoint judges to the Supreme Court, and the high courts, found that five names to be elevated to the Supreme Court were proposed in December of last year and now in February.

When Venkataramani said that the order to appoint the five names was expected to be issued soon, the panel said, “Should we record that for those five, the order is being issued?” The bench noted that the attorney general has submitted so far five people. In connection with Collegium’s recommendations for court appointments, subpoenas will be issued within five days.

The Attorney General requested that the number of days may not be recorded.

“You’re saying it’s happening. When I asked, you said Sunday. That’s why I gave a longer period,” Judge Kaul commented.

“When you said it was happening, I gave a longer period when I said five days… We gave a longer period because sometimes, there are unexpected delays. ,” he say.

When Venkataramani said the matter regarding the appointment of senior court judges could be postponed for some time, the bench addressed the aspect of delay in dealing with the recommendations for transfer and said it was “very troubling for us”.

“If the transfer orders are not carried out, what do you want us to do,” the bench said, adding that “we withdraw the judicial work from them, is that what you want?” It said when the Collegium thinks someone is suitable to work in the high court and the government upholds the matter of transfer, it is “very serious”.

“We will not allow any third parties to play this game.” The bench said there was no problem of delays in the transfer of judges from one high court to another when the government had very little role to play in this.

It also adds that a name has been proposed by the Collegium to be the chief justice of a high court but the judge involved will leave office in 19 days. “You want him to retire without being appointed chief justice?” Venkataramani said he was aware of this and was taking the necessary actions.

Bench observed that sometimes names are deleted in one night, sometimes it takes time and there is no consistency in this.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing on behalf of one of the petitioners, flagged the issue of names repeated by the Collegium not being removed by the government.

He said there were cases where even though he repeated it a second time, the appointment was still not made.

Under the law, the government has no choice but to appoint those whose names have been recalled, Bhushan said. “It can’t go on like this.” An advocate, representing another petitioner, said the court was under “attack outside the court”.

“We’re used to it…We’re used to handling this and rest assured, it doesn’t bother us, beyond a stage. It’s a matter of looking at what’s right and what’s not. It is up to different authorities,” Judge Kaul said. speak.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on February 13, saying it was trying to resolve all issues.

“Mr. Attorney, at least I am taking your word for the five appointments and number two, the transfer and appointment of the chief justice… These things have to come. Based on that understanding, I give this after 10 days,” Judge Kaul said.

During an earlier hearing on the matter on January 6, the attorney general told the court that every effort was being made to “comply” with the timelines set by the court for dealing with these cases. the name proposed by the Council for appointment as a judge. constitutional court.

The bench subsequently found that the delay in addressing the recommendations submitted by the Collegium regarding the transfer of senior court judges not only affected the administration of justice, but also created a negative impression. as if third-party sources are “interfering”.

One of the defenses in the Supreme Court alleges “intentionally disobeying” the timeframe put in place on April 20, 2021 to facilitate timely appointment of judges.

By order, the court has said that the Center should appoint judges within three to four weeks if Collegium unanimously reiterates its recommendations.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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