The Supreme Court collegium on Friday reiterated its recommendation to elevate Justice K M Joseph – the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court – to the Supreme Court.
Besides separately reiterating the recommendation of Justice Joseph, it also recommended the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice, Justice Indira Banarjee and Justice Vineet Saran – the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court to the Supreme Court. The top court has sanctioned strength of 31 Judges, but is presently functioning with 22 judges.
While recommending the name of Justice Banerjee and Justice Saran, the Collegium said that it has taken into “consideration combined seniority on all-India basis of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts, apart from their merit and integrity”.
Reiterating its recommendation on Justice Joseph, the collegium noted that there was nothing adverse regarding his suitability in the two communications sent by the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while returning the recommendation for reconsideration.
The collegium also recommended the shifting of Chief Justice of Patna High Court Justice Rajendra Menon as Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.
The recommendation of Justice Menon came as the collegium. on reconsideration, superseded its January 10 recommendation to appoint Justice Aniruddha Bose – senior puisne Judge of Calcutta High Court as Chief Justice of Delhi High Court – a recommendation returned by the Centre for reconsideration by the collegium. Justice Bose has now been recommended to be appointed as Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court.
The acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Gita Mittal – since April 2017 – has been recommended to be the Chief Justice of J&K High Court.
While recommending her appointment, the collegium noted that at “present there is only one Chief Justice from Delhi High Court which has the special status of being the High Court for the national capital”.
The collegium has also recommended the appointment of Justice M.R. Shah – the senior-most Judge of Gujarat High Court as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court.
Justice V K Tahilramani – the senior most Judge from Bombay High Court has been recommended to be the Chief Justice of Madras High Court after it falls vacant on the elevation of Justice Banarjee to the Supreme Court.
While recommending Justice Tahilramani to be the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, the collegiums noted that at present “there is only one Chief Justice from Bombay High Court, which is one of the biggest High Courts with sanctioned Judge-strength of 94 Judges”.
The collegium also recommended the confirmation of Justice Hrishikesh Roy, the Acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court as its permanent Chief Justice.
Justice Roy was the senior-most Judge of Gauhati High Court before he was transferred to become acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.
The collegium noted that at “present there is no Chief Justice from Gauhati High Court”.