Supreme Court Collegium Recommends Elevation Judicial Officers Advocates As High Court Judges

The Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, on Tuesday recommended the appointment of seven judicial officers and two advocates as judges in various high courts. The decisions of the Collegium, which also includes Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, were made public on the Supreme Court’s website.

In its meeting, the Collegium approved the elevation of Judicial Officers Ramachandra Dattatray Huddar and Venkatesh Naik Thavaryanaik as judges in the Karnataka High Court. Additionally, the Collegium reaffirmed its previous recommendation for the appointment of advocate Nagendra Ramachandra Naik as a judge in the same high court. This was the third time the Supreme Court reiterated Nagendra Ramachandra Naik’s name for elevation, after recommendation in 2019 and then reiterating twice in 2021.

The Collegium also approved the appointment of advocate Neela Kedar Gokhale as a judge of the Bombay High Court, and the promotion of Judicial Officer Mridul Kumar Kalita as a judge in the Gauhati High Court. In Andhra Pradesh, the Collegium approved the promotion of Judicial Officers P. Venkata Jyothirmai and V Gopalakrishna Rao as judges of the high court there. Finally, the Collegium approved the elevation of Judicial Officers Aribam Guneshwar Sharma and Golmei Gaiphulshillu Kabui as judges in the Manipur High Court.

The Karnataka High Court is functioning with 13 vacant judges’ posts against its sanctioned strength of 62 while the Bombay High Court is working with a strength of 65 judges against its sanctioned strength of 94 judges. The Andhra Pradesh High Court has a sanctioned strength of 37 judges, of which seven posts are vacant.

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The recommendations come at a time when the Centre appears to be locked in a battle with the SC Collegium over the system of appointment of judges. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has time and again criticised the system and sought the installation of the National Judicial Appointments Commission, the proposal for which was scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2015.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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