New Delhi: Rejecting the stand of the Centre, the Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its proposal to recommended the Chief Justice of Jharkhand high court Aniruddha Bose (who hails from Kolkata) and the Chief Justice of Gauhati high court A.S. Bopanna (who hails from Karnataka) as judges of the apex court.
The collegium has also recommended Justice Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai, Judge, Bombay high court (who hails from Mumbai) and Justice Surya Kant, chief justice, Himachal Pradesh high court (who hails from Punjab) for elevation to the apex court.
Once the four names are approved and appointed, the Supreme Court will have its full strength of 31 judges after a long time.
This Resolution stated, “the Collegium resolves to reiterate the afore-mentioned recommendation dated 12th April, 2019, especially since nothing adverse regarding competence, conduct or integrity of Justices Aniruddha Bose, and A.S. Bopanna, has been pointed out.”
Justice Bose stands at number 12 in the combined seniority list of all-India high court judges, while Justice Bopanna stands at number 36.
On April 12, both judges were recommended by the Collegium for elevation to the Supreme Court after considering factors such as merit, seniority, as well as regional representation on the Supreme Court Bench.
However, the Centre had rejected the recommendation to elevate Justices Bose and Bopanna, stating that it would go against the principle of regional representation.
The parent high courts of the two judges – the high courts of Calcutta and Karnataka – are already adequately represented in the Supreme Court, the Centre reportedly said.
In response, the Collegium has opined in Wednesday’s Resolution “though inter-se seniority amongst Judges in their high courts and their combined seniority on all-India basis should be given due weightage, merit should be the predominant consideration. The Collegium accordingly kept in mind these parameters while recommending the above two names.”
While recommending the names of Justice Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai and Mr. Justice Surya Kant, the Collegium has taken into consideration combined seniority on all-India basis of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts, apart from their competence, conduct and integrity. The Collegium has also kept in mind the desirability of giving due representation on the Bench of the Supreme Court, as far as possible, to all the High Courts as well as to all sections of the society including those belonging to SC/ST/OBC categories, women and minorities. We are also conscious of the fact that some High Courts have remained unrepresented in the Supreme Court, the resolution added.