Says Aniruddha Bose, who has been a Calcutta High Court judge since 2004, has no experience as chief justice to handle a prominent high court.
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has rejected yet again a name suggested by the Supreme Court collegium. This time the recommendation was to appoint Aniruddha Bose, a Calcutta High Court judge, as the chief justice of Delhi High Court.
Reason? The government has said that Bose — who has been a judge since 2004 — doesn’t have any experience as a chief justice to handle such a prominent high court.
Sources in the Supreme Court told ThePrint that the file was sent back a few days ago.
Now the government wants the collegium to recommend another name in place of the 59-year-old Justice Bose for Delhi High Court, which has been without a full-time chief justice for more than a year.
In declaring Bose’s lack of experience as the reason to reject his nomination, the Centre seems to have conveniently forgotten that in the past there have been several chief justices of Delhi High Court who began their tenures as apex judges in this very court. They include Justice G. Rohini, who was a puisne judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court before she was appointed as the first woman chief justice of Delhi High Court, and Justice N.V. Ramanna, currently in the Supreme Court, who was a judge of the Andhra Pradesh high court, before he was appointed as chief justice of the high court in the national capital.
Also, several of the bigger high courts than the one in Delhi, including Punjab and Haryana, Bombay, Calcutta and Madhya Pradesh, have had chief justices who were puisne judges in their parent high courts.
Run-ins with judiciary
The development comes days after ThePrint reported that the Modi government had returned the names of two advocates recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for elevation as high court judges. Even in that instance, the Centre’s decision was unprecedented in that it cited nothing adverse against the two candidates — Harnaresh Singh Gill and Mohammed Nizamuddin.
Since coming to power in May 2014, the Modi government has taken on the higher judiciary, especially the collegium, several times over appointments.
While the most high-profile example is that of Uttarakhand High Court chief justice K.M. Joseph, whose elevation to the Supreme Court the Centre has stalled on the grounds that it was “not fair and justified to other more senior, suitable and deserving chief justices,” there have been other such instances.
In May, ThePrint had first reported that the Modi government was sitting on several names recommended by the SC collegium, which included that of justice Bose. The report also talked about the possibility of the government asking the collegium to recommend another name.
What will the collegium do?
If recent trends are any indication, the collegium can be expected to take back its recommendation to appoint justice Bose as chief justice of Delhi. There have been several cases in the last two years, where the collegium has submitted to the whims of the Modi government.
Sources in the Supreme Court said the matter will be discussed soon and a decision would be taken by the collegium.