The first set of recommendations by the CJI Dr. Chandrachud-led Collegium comprises the chief justices of the high courts of Rajasthan, Patna and Manipur, and judges at the high courts of Allahabad and Patna.
THE Supreme Court Collegium on Tuesday recommended the names of five high court judges for elevation to the Supreme Court. It is the first set of recommendations by the incumbent Chief Justice of India (‘CJI’) Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud-headed collegium from the Supreme Court.
The Collegium has sent the names of Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, Justice Pankaj Mithal; Chief Justice of Patna High Court, Justice Sanjay Karol; Chief Justice of Manipur High Court, Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar; Patna high court judge, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah; and Allahabad High Court judge, Justice Manoj Mishra, to the Union Government for their appointment as Supreme Court judges.
The Collegium comprises CJI Dr. Chandrachud, and the four senior-most puisne judges, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Abdul Nazeer, K.M. Joseph and M.R. Shah. The collegium also comprises Justice Sanjiv Khanna because the four puisne judges in the Collegium are not in line to become the CJI, and thus, as per the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Second Judges case in 1993 read with the Memorandum of Procedure of appointment of Supreme Court judges, if the successor CJI is not one of the four senior-most puisne judges, they would be made part of the collegium as they should have a hand in the selection of judges who will function during their term as CJI.
The recommendations came within 48 hours of the appointment of Justice Dipankar Datta to the Supreme Court. Justice Datta’s appointment was kept on hold by the government for over two months, after his elevation was recommended by the Supreme Court collegium on September 26.
Justice Mithal is a graduate of Commerce from Allahabad University and passed LL.B. from Meerut College, Meerut affiliated to Ch. Charan Singh University in 1985. He enrolled as an advocate in the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh in 1985. He started practicing at the allahabad high court in 1985. He worked as Standing Counsel for the Uttar Pradesh Avas Evam Vikas Parishad, Lucknow since 1990 till his elevation to the Bench, and as Standing Counsel of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra from 1990 to February 2006.
He was first appointed as Additional Judge of the Allahabad high court on July 7, 2006, before being appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh on January 4, 2021. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the Rajasthan high court on October 14 this year. If appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Mithal will have a tenure till June 16, 2026.
Justice Karol hails from Himachal Pradesh. He is an alumnus of St. Edward School, Shimla, and graduated with Honours in History from the Government Degree College, Shimla. He subsequently obtained a degree in Law from the Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He enrolled as an advocate in 1986. He worked as the Advocate General of Himachal Pradesh from 1998 till 2003, before being appointed as judge of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh on March 8, 2007. Prior to his elevation, he was also on the senior panel for the Union Government at the Supreme Court. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court on November 9, 2018. Thereafter, he was sent to the Patna high court as Chief Justice on November 11, 2019, where he is the incumbent chief justice. If appointed, Justice Karol will have a tenure till August 8, 2026 as a Supreme Court judge.
Justice Sanjay Kumar is the son of the former advocate General of Andhra Pradesh, P. Ramachandra Reddy. He did his graduation in Commerce from Nizam College, Hyderabad. before securing a law degree from Delhi University in 1988. He enrolled as an advocate that same year.
After the retirement of his father from the profession, he practiced independently and represented the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and its subordinate judiciary, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited and as Special Officer of Urban Land Ceilings, Hyderabad, at the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. He also served as a government pleader at the High Court of Andhra Pradesh from 2000 till 2003. He was appointed to the Andhra Pradesh high court as a judge on August 8, 2008, before being transferred as a judge to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana on October 10, 2019. He was then appointed as Chief Justice of the Manipur high court on February 14, 2021. If appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Kumar will be retire on August 13, 2028
Justice Amanullah, who is the senior-most puisne judge at the Patna high court, enrolled with the Bihar State Bar Council on September 27, 1991. He practiced predominantly at Constitutional courts, majorly at the Patna high court. He served as Standing Counsel of the Bihar Government from March 2006 till August 2010, and Government Advocate for Bihar from August 2010 till his elevation to the Bench. He was appointed as judge of Patna high court on June 20, 2011. He was transferred to the Andhra Pradesh high court on October 10, 2021, and re-transferred to the Patna high court on June 20 this year. If appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Amanullah will retire on May 10, 2025.
Justice Mishra graduated in law from the University of Allahabad in 1988. He enrolled as an Advocate on December 12, 1988. He practiced in civil, revenue, criminal and constitutional sides at the Allahabad high court. He was elevated as Additional Judge of the high court on November 21, 2011, before being appointed as permanent judge on August 06, 2013. If appointed to the Supreme Court, he will serve till June 1, 2030.