Thu, 08 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], March 22 (ANI): The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of four district judges for appointment as judges of the Madras High Court.

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud recommended the names of R Sakthivel, P Dhanabal, Chinnasamy Kumarappan, and K Rajasekar for the judges of the High Court.

The Collegium, which also comprises Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph, in its resolution dated March 21 stated that the recommendation made by the High Court Collegium on August 10, 2022, for the appointment of the four judicial officers as judges of the Madras High Court has the concurrence of the Chief Minister and the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

It said the file was received from the Department of Justice on January 5, 2023.

The resolution which was made available on the Supreme Court website on Wednesday stated, "In order to ascertain the fitness and suitability of the above-named judicial officers for elevation to the High Court, in terms of the Memorandum of Procedure, this Collegium has consulted the judges of the Supreme Court conversant with the affairs of the Madras High Court."In another resolution, the Collegium reiterated its earlier recommendation dated July 25, 2022, for the appointment of senior advocate Harpreet Singh Brar as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Collegium also expressed its displeasure over the Central government not clearing the recommendation to appoint advocate R John Sathyan as a judge of Madras High Court.

The government had earlier returned Sathyan's file (first recommended in February 2022) citing an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report which referred to two posts he had made on social media one of which was about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The Collegium is of the considered view that necessary action for the issuance of a notification for the elevation of persons who have been recommended earlier in point of time should be taken at the earliest including the name of R John Sathyan which has been reiterated by this Collegium on 17 January 2023," the resolution of the Collegium stated.

"The names which have been recommended earlier in point of time including the reiterated names ought not to be withheld or overlooked as this disturbs their seniority whereas those recommended later steal march on them. Loss of seniority of candidates recommended earlier in point of time has been noted by the Collegium and is a matter of grave concern," it added.

In the same resolution, the Collegium also noted that another candidate, Ramaswamy Neelakandan has also not been appointed though his candidate re was recommended on January 17.

It, therefore, asked the government to notify Neelakandan's appointment before notifying the name of K Rajasekar, the youngest of the four new candidates recommended on March 21.

The resolution stated that Ii Rajasekar's appointment is notified first, he would rank senior to Neelakandan despite being younger than him and such a deviation would be unfair and against settled convention.

The resolution said, "By its resolution dated January 17, 2023, the Collegium of the Supreme Court recommended the appointment of Ramaswamy Neelakandan, advocate practicing before the Madras High Court as a Judge of the High Court. As on January 31, 2023, Ramaswamy Neelakandan was 48.07 years of age while K Rajasekar on that date was 47.09 years of age.""Neelakandan who is a member of the Bar has been recommended earlier in point of time must be appointed before Rajasekar is appointed. Otherwise, Rajasekar, who is a judicial officer and younger than Neelakandan, would rank senior to Neelakandan. Such a deviation in seniority would be unfair and against the settled convention. Hence, while recommending the name of K Rajasekar for elevation, the Collegium is of the view that his appointment should be notified after the appointment of Ramaswamy Neelakandan is notified," it added. (ANI)

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