Centre raps Collegium for suggesting only three names for judges

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 May 2018 09:18:23




THE ongoing turf-war between the judiciary and the executive over the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary on Friday witnessed an open showdown in the Supreme Court with the Centre taking the Collegium head on for recommending few names to fill up huge vacancies in the High Courts. The apex court also hit out at the Centre for keeping the names recommended by the Collegium pending. “Tell us, how many names (recommended by the Collegium) are pending with you,” a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal.

When the AG said “I will have to find out”, the bench retorted “when it comes to the Government, you say ‘we will find out’”. The strong remarks by the bench came after Venugopal said though the court was dealing with a matter relating to the vacancy of Judges in the High Courts of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura,the fact was that the Collegium has been recommending only three names for High Courts where the vacancy was for 40 judges. “The Collegium will have to see the broad picture and recommend more names,” the AG said, adding, “some High Courts have 40 vacancies and recommendation of the Collegium is only for three. And the Government is being told that we are tardy in filing up the vacancy”.

“If there is no Collegium recommendation, nothing can be done,” Venugopal said. The bench then reminded the Government that they have to make the appointments. The Collegium had on April 19 recommended to the Centre for appointing of Justice M Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar as the chief justices of the Meghalaya High Court and Manipur High Court respectively, which have not yet been cleared. During the hearing, Venugopal said the issues related to Justice Sudhakar and Justice Yaqoob Mir would be dealt with and orders would be issued “shortly”. “What shortly? ‘Shortly’ could be three months,” the bench reacted.