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Why Modi govt has put lawyer Kamal Sehgal’s elevation as judge on hold

Supreme Court collegium recommended Kamal Sehgal for elevation as a judge of Punjab & Haryana HC in July.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government does not appear to be inclined to clear the names of two of the five lawyers whom the Supreme Court collegium had recommended for appointment as judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court four months ago.

According to sources in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Centre has decided to process the warrants of appointment of Suvir Sehgal, Girish Agnihotri and Alka Sarin. But there’s no progress on the names of Jasgurpreet Singh Puri and Kamal Sehgal, whose names were also cleared on 25 July.

Sources said no reason has been given so far about why Puri and Sehgal are not being appointed, even though there is nothing adverse against them on record.

Sources said the Punjab and Haryana High Court received a communication about the plan to clear just three names, with the request to get their medical examination done.

Also read: Judge vacancies at high courts hit 2019 high — 414 posts need to be filled

The case of Kamal Sehgal

There are indications that the Modi government’s opposition to Sehgal stems from the fact that he is the brother of Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS office Navneet Sehgal, who was considered a favourite of both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav when they were chief ministers.

Navneet Sehgal, currently posted as principal secretary of the Khadi and Village Industries Department, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Export Promotion, held charge of several departments when Akhilesh was CM.

After the BJP defeated Akhilesh’s incumbent government in 2017, in one of the first bureaucratic reshuffles, new CM Yogi Adityanath divested the IAS officer of all his charges and kept him on a waitlist.

The Centre, while sending its inputs to the Supreme Court collegium about the eight names originally recommended by Punjab and Haryana High Court collegium in January, had expressed reservations about Sehgal’s candidature apart from three others.

However, the SC collegium had ignored these objections and Intelligence Bureau inputs, and gone ahead and recommended Sehgal and four others for elevation, while rejecting or putting on hold the names of three other candidates.

Also read: Supreme Court is going back on promise of transparency, building case for Modi govt’s NJAC


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  1. Sir
    This news is based on the wrong interpretation and clearly reflect that the writer has little knowledge of definition of OGAS.

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