Apex Court, govt face-off likely over pick­ing judges

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Bhadra Sinha

NEW DELHI: A panel of top three Supreme Court judges led by Chief Jus­tice of In­dia TS Thakur has over­ruled the Cen­tre’s ob­jec­tion to 43 names cleared by the col­legium for ap­point­ment as judges to the high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Ut­tar Pradesh and Kar­nataka.

The panel met on Novem­ber 16 and stood by its de­ci­sion on the names, while re­turn­ing the file back to the Cen­tre that had asked the col­legium to re­con­sider its rec­om­men­da­tions.

The Cen­tre and the top court are at log­ger­heads over ju­di­cial ap­point­ments since the SC struck down the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Ap­point­ments Com­mis­sion Act. The law was brought in to end the more than 20-year-old prac­tice, unique to In­dia, of judges ap­point­ing judges un­der the col­legium sys­tem, with the govern­ment hav­ing no say in the process. “We have re­it­er­ated 43 names for HC judges. You can in­form the govern­ment and ask them to go ahead with the process to ap­point them,” a bench headed by Thakur told at­tor­ney gen­eral Mukul Ro­hatgi.

The bench was hear­ing a batch of pe­ti­tions point­ing out short­age of judges in HCs and seek­ing a di­rec­tion to the govern­ment to speed up the ap­point­ments.

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