The appointment of advocate R. John Sathyan, recommended by the Collegium to be given precedence, has also been ignored by the government.
THE Union Government on Monday notified the appointments of thirteen judges as additional judges to three high courts, namely the Allahabad High Court, the Karnataka High Court, and the Madras High Court.
Six advocates — Syed Qamar Hasan Rizvi, Manish Kumar Nigam, Anish Kumar Gupta, Nand Prabha Shukla, Kshitij Shailendra and Vinod Diwakar — have been appointed as additional judges at the Allahabad High Court for a period of two years.
The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the elevation of nine advocates to the high court bench on January 17. The government, however, has not notified the appointment of three advocates — Prashant Kumar, Manjive Shukla and Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal.
At the Karnataka High Court, the government has appointed Vijaykumar Adagouda Patil and Rajesh Rai Kallangalla as additional judges for two years. Here too, the government withheld the appointment of advocate Tajali Moulasab Nadaf. The collegium had recommended these three for elevation to the high court bench on January 17.
With regard to the Madras High Court, the government has notified the appointments of advocates Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri, Pillaipakkam Bahukutumbi Balaji and Kandhasami Kulandaivelu Ramakrishnan as additional judges for two years, but it has withheld the appointment of advocates Venkatachari Lakshminarayanan and Ramaswamy Neelakandan. The collegium had recommended these five for appointment on January 17 as well.
As already reported by The Leaflet, Gowri’s appointment is notable, since it was notified minutes before the mentioning of petitions at the Supreme Court contesting her recommended appointment on grounds of her bigoted public statements about Muslims and Christians in the past.
In addition, the government has notified the elevation to the Madras High Court bench of two judicial officers, namely Ramachandran Kalaimathi and K. Govindarajan Thilakavadi, while withholding the elevation of judicial officer Periyasamy Vadamalai. The three were also recommended by the collegium on January 17.
Interestingly, on January 17, the collegium had also reiterated its recommendation, first made on February 16, 2022, of the appointment of advocate R. John Sathyan as a judge at the Madras High Court. In its resolution reiterating his recommended appointment, the collegium had dismissed the government’s objection to his elevation on grounds of, among other things, his sharing on social media of an article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It had also made clear that Sathyan should be given precedence in the matter of appointment as judge over the other names separately recommended by the collegium on January 17 for appointment as judges of the Madras High Court.
However, the government has ignored the decision of the collegium in this regard.