HC notice to Centre, State on delay in appointment of judges

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Chennai, Feb 25 (UNI) The Madras High Court today ordered issuance of notice, returnable by three weeks, to the Centre and Tamil Nadu government on the issue of delay in appointment of two additional High Court judges.

When the petition came up for hearing, a Division Bench, comprising Justices S J Mukhopadhaya and M Venugopal, ordered the notice on a writ petition filed by Revenue Bar Association, Chennai, President V S Jayakumar.

Mr Wilson, Central Government Standing Counsel received the notice on behalf of the Centre after which the Bench posted the case to March 31 for further hearing.

In his petition, Mr Jayakumar sought a direction to the Union Law Ministry and the Tamil Nadu Government to approve the names of two advocates for appointment as additional judges in the High Court.

He submitted that the Madras High Court Chief Justice had recommended five names for the appointment. Of them, M/s K K Sasidharan, V Periyakaruppiah and M Venugopal were appointed in November last year.

However, the names of K Kannan and S Satyanarayanan were not forwarded to President Prathiba Patil for approval, though all the procedural formalities and legal requirements were complied with.

''The omission to forward the name is inexplicable and constitutes a serious lapse of constitutional duty on the part of the Union Law and Justice Ministry,'' he added.

According to the Constitution, once the Collegium of the Supreme Court cleared the names for appointment as judges in High Courts, the Centre was expected to approve it, he contended and sought a direction to the Union Law Ministry to forward the names to the President for approval.

The High Court currently has 46 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 49.

UNI XR-GV SJ KD RK2011

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