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Hours after SC rap on high court judge appointments, Modi govt clears names

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Madras High Court gets three new permanent judges, Kerala High Court gets four additional judges, while Karnataka HC gets 12 appointees in total.

New Delhi: On the day the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reprimanded states and high courts for their failure to fill judge vacancies, the Narendra Modi government issued a slew of notifications, signing off on a multitude of appointments at three high courts.

At the Madras High Court, three additional judges — R.M.T. Teeka Raman, N. Satish Kumar, and N. Seshasayee — were promoted to permanent judges.

At the Kerala High Court, four were appointed as additional judges — V.G. Arun, N. Nagaresh, T.V. Anilkumar and N. Anil Kumar.

Meanwhile, at the Karnataka High Court, seven additional judges have been made permanent judges, and five have been appointed additional judges. The judges who have been promoted are Kempaiah Somashekar, K.S. Mudagal, Sreenivas H. Kumar, John Michael Cunha, Basavaraj A. Patil, N.K. Sudhindrarao, and H.B. Prabhakara Sastry.

The newly-appointed additional judges are Ashok Golappa Nijagannavar, Hethur Puttaswamygowda Sandesh, Krishnan Natarajan, Pralhadrao Govindrao Mutalik Patil and Appasaheb Shantappa Bellunke.

According to the list of vacancies published on the Law Ministry’s website, as of 1 November, there are 62 judges at the Madras High Court against a sanctioned strength of 75, the Kerala High Court has 35 working judges against a sanctioned strength of 47, and Karnataka High Court has just 29 judges against a sanctioned strength of 62.

Also read: Centre to ignore Khattar, appoint four lawyers as Punjab & Haryana High Court judges

Long-awaited appointments

According to the resolution published on the apex court’s website, the SC collegium had cleared all these names in October.

The Madras High Court collegium had recommended the three names on 7 February, with the consent of the state government, while the Kerala High Court collegium had sent its recommendations in March. The latter had sent five names, but the promotion of an advocate to the rank of additional judge has not been cleared by the Centre.

Also read: Modi govt clears name of judge as Himachal chief justice after stalling for 9 months

The Karnataka High Court collegium had made its recommendations as far back as June 2017, recommending seven additional judges to be made permanent and six to be appointed as additional judges.

However, the Supreme Court collegium, under the previous Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had cleared five of the six names for additional judge, rejecting the name of one judicial officer who was already 61 years old at the time of his nomination.

Considering that the tenure of this nominee would be less than a year, clearing his name “would not serve the desired purpose”, the SC collegium had said.

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  1. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist,Barnala(Punjab)

    Keeping pace with the times ! CJI Justice Ranjan Gogoi has made an effective difference so far as functioning of the Apex Court and the High Courts of the nation is concerned !

    The nation will love and like justice delivery system to be fair, impartial, just, objective and qualitative but at the same time fast and quick too !

    If CJI Gogoi succeeds in ensuring these features in the judiciary of the nation, he will make a unique mark of his own in the annals of the Indian Judicial System !

    Time will ultimately unfold what now onwards and how CJI Gogoi succeeds in offering new and unprecedented dimensions to the Legal System of India ?

    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala(Punjab)

  2. One of the achievements CJI Ranjan Gogoi might wish to be remembered for it to clear the entire backlog of vacancies. Whether India needs more judges is a larger issue, but there can be no justification for keeping sanctioned posts vacant.

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