"Not argued any major case independently in the High Court or Supreme Court". This is a noting made by the Intelligence Bureau, which was asked to do a background check on the judges to be appointed to the higher judiciary.
This comes, even as there is an unspoken war between the Centre and Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur over the matter of appointment of judges to the high courts and the Supreme Court.
Justice Thakur has forwarded 73 people, selected by the Supreme Court collegium, to be appointed judges.
The case on hand relates to the appointment of four judges to the Delhi High Court.
The four names were suggested by the collegium and were placed before the Law Ministry for final approval. The Law Ministry, before approving the names, asks the IB to do a background check on the persons selected by the collegium.
Interestingly, in the case of the four persons, the IB has submitted reports twice, after it was asked to double check on its assessments.
Not argued any major case
The noting on one of the persons selected by the collegium reads, "not independently argued any major case either in the high court or supreme court."
The Law ministry sent the file back to the IB and asked them for a re-assessment. The second time, too, the IB made the same noting.
In another case, the IB had left blank the 'integrity' column on a woman lawyer's file.
When the Law ministry sent the file back for a re-check, the IB stated that there was "a public perception" about the candidate's integrity, but there was nothing to substantiate the same.
In the case of another judge, the IB noted that there was nothing adverse about the reputation of the lawyer himself, but it noted that he lived with his brother whose name is said to have come up in the Essar tapes scandal.
It's now the Law ministry's call to take the IB assessments into account while making the appointments.