The decision to either accept the collegium’s recommendation or to return them to the collegium would be taken shortly, Attorney General for India R. Venkataramani told a Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
ON Monday, the Union government informed the Supreme Court that of the 26 transfers of high court judges recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium, 14 have been processed for approval while on in case of 12 others, the decision to either accept the collegium’s recommendation or to return them to the collegium would be taken shortly.
The submission was made by the Attorney General for India R. Venkataramani before a Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
In August this year, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the transfer of 26 high court judges, mostly from the Allahabad, Telangana and Gujarat high courts.
The decision to this effect was taken by the Supreme Court Collegium comprising Chief Justice of India Dr D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices S.K. Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, and Surya Kant. However, the government is yet to give effect to the collegium’s recommendations.
The status report submitted by the Attorney General also indicated that two cases of transfer of judges from the Rajasthan High Court have been lying with the Supreme Court Collegium for almost two years.
The collegium, while recommending the appointment of these two judges, had specifically stated that they would be transferred after their appointment as judges of the Rajasthan High Court. The names have not been mentioned in the status report.
The Attorney General also informed the Bench that of the 82 proposals received from high court collegiums, 72 names have been sent to the Supreme Court Collegium by the Ministry of Law and Justice with its inputs and thus they are pending with the Supreme Court Collegium.
The Bench, however, said that the 72 names could not be said to be pending with the collegium as the same were received by it only two days back and that the collegium would take a decision on those 72 names at the earliest.
Of the 72 names, 28 names were sent to the collegium on September 29, 2023. It includes names for the appointments of judges to the high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bombay, Chhattisgarh, Patna and Gujarat.
Thirty-five names were sent to the collegium on October 3, 2023, which includes names for the appointment of judges to High Courts of Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
Two names in respect of Tripura were sent to the collegium on October 5, 2023, while seven names were sent to the collegium on October 7, 2023, which includes names for the high courts of Gauhati and Uttarakhand.
The 10 names which are under processing with the government relate to the high courts of Patna (seven advocates), J&K and Ladakh (one advocate), Chhattisgarh (one judicial officer) and Calcutta (one judicial officer).
“These proposals have been received recently. The oldest proposal dates back to June 2023,”the status report reads.
The Supreme Court Collegium has sought fresh inputs from the High Court Collegium regarding seven names. Two of them pertain to advocates at the High Court of Kerala. The files on these names were submitted to the Supreme Court Collegium on September 29, 2023. The remaining five pertain to the Allahabad High Court on which inputs are still awaited from the High Court Collegium.
The proposals recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium but still pending with the government include a total of nine names pertaining to one name each from the high courts of Rajasthan, Manipur, Karnataka, Madras, Uttarakhand, Allahabad and Karnataka.
Two names pertaining to the Madras High Court are pending with the government. Of the nine pending proposals, one pertaining to Manipur, one to Karnataka and two the Madras High Court have been sent for approval by the Union government.
In addition, a total of five names are pending with the government despite reiteration. They belong to the high courts of Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.