[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n response to a question asked by Member of Parliament (MP) from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, in Lok Sabha, P P Chaudhary, Minister of State for Law and Justice and Corporate Affairs, has replied that at present, 143 names recommended by the High Court Collegium have been submitted and pending with the Supreme Court Collegium. Further, 5 names recommended by Supreme Court Collegium have been referred back by the Government of India to the Supreme Court for reconsideration, and 27 proposals, including those names reiterated by Supreme Court Collegium, are under various stages of processing with the Government, as per the procedure prescribed in the MoP.
The Minister further informed Lok Sabha that no recommendations of the Supreme Court Collegium for the year 2014 is pending with the Government of India. For the year 2015, the Supreme Court Collegium has conveyed on August 1, 2018 for remitting two names recommended by the Allahabad High Court back to the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court.
It’s pertinent to add that a number of questions asked by Tharoor, including names and dates of the Collegium recommendations, have not been answered in the reply by MoS Chaudhary in Lok Sabha.
Interestingly, the Department of Justice had earlier turned down an RTI application filed by Paras Nath Singh on May 23, 2018 seeking number of recommendations from Collegium pending consideration with the Government of India. The Ministry then replied that in terms of order dated December 4, 2009 in SLP C No.32855/2009 titled Central Public Information Officer & Anr. Versus Subhash Chandra Agrawal there is a stay of disclosure of information relating to matter like the present one.