Thursday, March 30, 2023

Government clears 5 new Supreme Court judges after ‘Very Serious’ warning


New Delhi: A day after the Supreme Court expressed displeasure over inordinate delay in appointment of judges recommended by the Collegium, the Centre on Saturday notified the appointment of five judges to the top court.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter to announce the appointment of Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court Judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Allahabad High Court Judge Manoj Misra as judges of the Supreme Court.

The Collegium led by CJI DY Chandrachud had on December 13 recommended their names for elevation to the top court but the Government has been sitting over the recommendation, inviting the ire of the court.

Taking exception to inordinate delay in the appointment and transfer of judges, a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had on Friday warned the Centre of judicial and administrative action which would not be palatable if the government continued to sit over the recommendations.

The newly appointed judges were likely to take oath on Monday, sources said. The latest appointments will take the Supreme Court—which has been functioning with only 27 judges—to 32 judges against a sanctioned strength of 34. It had 69,768 cases awaiting adjudication as on January 1, 2023.

After this, the Collegium’s January 31 recommendation for the elevation of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar as judges of the top court remained pending with the Government.

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