Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 13

Amid ongoing stand-off between the Government and the Judiciary over judicial appointment, the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Tuesday recommended the elevation of three high court chief justices and two high court judges as judges of the top court.

The Collegium also recommended three names for appointment of chief justices of the high courts of Jharkhand; Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh; and Gauhati.

Those recommended to be appointed as judges of the Supreme Court were: Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court Judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Allahabad High Court Manoj Misra.

The recommendations were made two days after the Centre notified the appointment of Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta as a judge of the Supreme Court. Justice Datta took oath as a Supreme Court judge on Monday — 77 days after the Collegium recommended his elevation.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has been attacking the Collegium, saying it was “alien to the Constitution. With the Centre sitting over the Collegium’s recommendations for judicial appointments, the Supreme Court has been voicing its anguish in no uncertain terms. Emphasising that the Collegium system was the law of the land that must be followed, a Bench led by Justice SK Kaul had on December 8 asked the Attorney General to advise the government on the correct legal position on the issue.

Once these recommendations are cleared by the Centre and the five judges take oath, the working strength of the Supreme Court will reach 33 judges. The top court is currently functioning with only 28 judges against a sanctioned strength of 34 judges, including the CJI.

Justice S Abdul Nazeer – who is number three in seniority – is due to retire on January 4, 2023.

The Collegium also recommended names of three high court judges for elevation as chief justices of the Jharkhand High Court, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court and the Gauhati High Court.

Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra of the Uttarakhand High Court has been recommended for appointment as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court while Justice N Kotiswar Singh of the Gauhati High Court and Justice K Vinod Chandran of the Kerala High Court have been recommended to be elevated as the Chief Justices of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court and the Gauhati High Court, respectively.

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