The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said in open court that he had not deleted the petition seeking contempt proceedings against the Union government over delays in the appointment and transfer of judges from his court nor was he unwilling to hear it.
IN the latest turn of events in the petition seeking contempt proceedings against the Union government over delays in the appointment and transfer of judges, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said in open court that he had not deleted the petition from his court nor was he unwilling to hear it.
The development followed the removal of the contempt petition from the Bench of Justice Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, which had directed its listing on December 5.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter before Justice Kaul this morning. He submitted before Justice Kaul that the matter had been deleted without any notice. Describing the situation “very strange”, Bhushan questioned the registry’s role in the deletion.
Justice Kaul was quick to inform Bhushan that he did not have a role to play in the deletion, adding that he was sure that the Chief Justice of India was fully aware of it.
During the previous hearing on November 20, the Bench had taken strong exception to the Union government selectively notifying the transfer and appointment of judges.
The Bench had also flagged the inaction over the collegium’s recommendation to transfer out four Gujarat High Court judges namely Justices Alpesh Y. Kogje, Kumari Gita Gopi, Hemant M. Prachchhak and Samir J. Dave. The collegium decided to move them out to the high courts of Allahabad, Madras, Patna and Rajasthan respectively.
In addition, the government is yet to notify the transfer of Allahabad High Court judge Justice Prakash Padia to the Jharkhand High Court. The government is still holding back the transfer of Delhi High Court’s Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar to the Rajasthan High Court.
The Bench had also noted in its Order that out of the recently recommended names, eight candidates had not been cleared and appointed. Some of these people are senior to the others who had been appointed.
“This is something on which we have commented earlier that if a candidate does not know at what seniority he will stand as a judge, it becomes difficult to persuade other eligible and deserving candidates.
“There are five older recommended candidates where neither have names come back with any comment nor has there been any progress,” the Bench had said.
In addition, the Bench had noted that there were five older names where the names had been reiterated once or twice.
“There are three candidates recommended in July where the expected timeline is over for names to be sent with the inputs to the collegium— two of them are from Jammu and Kashmir and one is from Jharkhand,” the Bench had said.
Since the Attorney General of India requested the matter be taken up after some time and assured the court that it would not be disappointed looking at the efforts he was making, the Bench adjourned the matter to December 5.