CJIs ignoring SC collegium in HC judges permanent appointment:Centre

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New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) The Central government has informed the Supreme Court that all the Chief Justices of India have been ignoring the Supreme Court collegium since 1999 in the matter of appoinment of permanent judges of High Courts.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, however, assured a bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam that Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj will discuss the matter with the Chief Justice of India and place everything before this honourable court.

Former Union Law Minister and Senior Counsel Shanti Bhushan in his petition had alleged that the CJIs have been ignoring the Supreme Court collegium, which comprises the Chief Justice of India and three seniormost judges of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in its judgement on the issue of appointment of judges of High Courts and Supreme Court, had ruled that the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India in consultation with the Supreme Court collegium shall be final and would be binding on the government.

Senior counsel Anil Diwan, appearing for Mr Bhushan, told the apex court that the Supreme Court collegium had rejected the name of Justice S Ashok Kumar of Madras High Court for being made permanent in August 2005.

However, the present Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, without taking the collegium into confidence, recommended the name of Justice Kumar, who was an Additional Judge of the High Court, for being made permanent.

Mr Diwan made it clear that he was not asking for an enquiry into the 351 appointments of the High Court judges since 1999 but was concerned only with the case of Justice Kumar.

The apex court adjourned the hearing till after summer vacation.


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