Somasekhar Sundaresan’s name was recommended as far back as February 16, 2022. Among the objections of the Union government to his appointment were the allegation that he was a “highly biased and opinionated person” who was “selectively critical on social media of important policies, initiatives and directions of the government”.
ON Thursday, advocate Somasekhar Sundaresan was appointed as additional judge of the Bombay High Court. The President of India signed the warrant of appointment to this effect.
The appointment Order has come after a delay of close to two years since his name was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium as far back as February 16, 2022.
However, Sundaresan has lost his seniority over seven judges whose names were recommended by the collegium and who were appointed by the Union government while the matter of Sundaresan’s appointment lay in cold storage despite reiteration.
The collegium had reiterated Sundaresan’s name onJanuary 18 this year. The collegium reiterated his name while overruling the objections raised by the Union government that Sundaresan had aired his views on social media on several matters which are the subject matter of consideration before courts.
The collegium was of the view that Sundaresan has specialised in commercial law and would be an asset to the Bombay High Court which has a large volume of cases of commercial and securities laws, among other branches.
A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul which is hearing a contempt petition against the government for delaying the appointments, has been pushing the government to give effect to the collegium’s recommendations.
The Bench has also been expressing serious concerns at the government’s cherry-picking of the recommendations. The Bench has also expressed its concerns that the government’s selective adoption of the collegium’s recommendation is disturbing seniority of the candidates.
At present, there are five names which have been reiterated once or reiterated twice. Of them, one has been cleared with Sundaresan’s appointment.
The other pending reiterated names are of advocate Saurabh Kirpal for the Delhi High Court, advocate R. John Sathyan for the Madras High Court and advocates Amitesh Banerjee and Sakya Sen for the Calcutta High Court.