Supreme Court slams, government rushes to clear 5 names for Delhi HC

Out of the five names, the government expressed repeated objections regarding two.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: November 1, 2016 12:20 pm
appointment of judges, judicial appointment, Santosh Hegde, SC judiciary comments, SC news, India news, latest news, indian express The Indian Express has learnt that the names of the five judicial officers in the Delhi district courts reached the President on Monday for issuance of warrant. (File Photo)

Brushing aside its objections to two names, the Centre has cleared the decks to elevate five serving judicial officers as judges in the Delhi High Court.

The files of appointment were processed in fast-track mode hours after Chief Justice of India T S Thakur made it clear that the Supreme Court “cannot allow the executive to decimate the system” by what it called “inaction, inefficiency or unwillingness” to appoint judges.

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The Indian Express has learnt that the names of the five judicial officers in the Delhi district courts reached the President on Monday for issuance of warrant — the final step in appointing a judge after his name is cleared by the collegium and then by the executive.

Out of the five names, the government expressed repeated objections regarding two. In one case, the government cited an adverse report by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that raised questions on the district judge’s reputation. The government cited clauses of the proposed Memorandum of Procedure to oppose his appointment. But the collegium overruled the IB’s report, telling the Law Ministry that its own inquiry found nothing substantially adverse against the district judge concerned to stop the elevation and added it did not approve of the IB report nor was it bound by the opinion in such reports.

In the second case, the government had protested revival of the name of a judicial officer, whose elevation was stalled by the Delhi High Court in November 2014 pending an inquiry. After the inquiry got over in May, CJI Thakur wrote to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad seeking revival of the proposal to elevate the judicial officer but the government flagged procedural infirmities and asked for an IB check.

Also Read | PM Narendra Modi calls for all India judicial service, CJI for introspection

Despite issues, both the names got cleared with three others after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, it is learnt, asked the Law Ministry to expedite appointments lest the secretaries in the PMO and Department of Justice are summoned by the bench headed by the CJI to explain what stalled the appointments.

On Friday, the top court had questioned if the government wanted the entire judicial system to be “locked out” while making it clear that the government can neither “scuttle the working of the institution” nor be allowed “to bring the entire system to a grinding halt”. Lashing out at the government for sitting on the files of judges’ appointments despite clearance by the collegium nine months ago, the bench had told the AG that although the judiciary would not want a “clash” with any other institution, it was for the government to make sure such a situation is averted. On a request by Rohatgi, the court had adjourned the matter for November 11.

Soon after the hearing, it is learnt, the AG spoke to Justice Department officials as well as the Law Minister, conveying the message that a few appointments must go through hurriedly. He clarified that a mere intimation to the court regarding the number of names cleared would not be enough and that it was imperative that warrants of appointments of judges are also issued before the next hearing.

The Law Ministry swung into action and processed files of five senior judicial officers in Delhi district courts. Four of these names had been cleared by the collegium five months ago. These files were then forwarded to the PMO, which took no time in approving them and the matter was routed for preparation of the warrant of appointments of these judges. On Monday, these files were submitted to the President for issuing warrants, which is expected to come out anytime this week.

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  1. O
    Onkar Singh
    Nov 1, 2016 at 8:44 am
    Some Senior lawyers of the Apex Court were very vocal when some human wrong was reported in the media.But after having held a brief for Amit Shah at the apex court,we don't hear anything from him against the govt.What is disturbing is that when these fearless and prestigious lawyers keep quiet they are leaving the space open to the lumpens in the right wing affiliates including the party in power at the centre.Some day these same people will appear in the media to rue that their silence was a wrong decision,but by then it would be too late.They should throw their weight against the govt for trying to create a crisis against the Judiciary,because they earn the bread at the Judiciary.If such people don't speak up then it will be construed that they are colluding with the criminal elements in the ruling party,by defending them in the courts.Even though such people may defend their actions by saying we are fighting for Justice.
    1. H
      himanshu kalpana
      Nov 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm
      NDA is as slow as UPA. They both have no intention to fill backlogs of judges or build new courts as loads of court cases mount and justice is;br/gt;Our Law Minister doesn't even talk about the issue and or gives time line when he will construct new courts. Are they serious to improve judiciary? What happenned to judiciary reforms?lt;br/gt;Modi ji is getting bad name because of this. People are feeling central Govt is inefficient in improving courts.
      1. A
        Nov 1, 2016 at 4:04 am
        Though our Judiciary is out of reach of common man/Aam Aadmi but still the people of this country have immense faith in Indian Judiciary specially SC who has been vigorously watching that no Ruling Party at centre would go against the Consution of India.That is why 2G, CWG and Coal Gate and Black money matters are being perused by SC.Our Judiciary withstood pressure of Govt at centre. Hats off to our Judiciary.
        1. A
          ASIT DESAI
          Nov 1, 2016 at 6:12 am
          Since the Government finds it possible to add cesses for many items , perhaps the time has come to contemplate the creation of a dedicated cess to finance the workings of the judicial system without it having to be dependent on the Executive or Legislature . That will be a true separation of powers ???
          1. D
            Nov 1, 2016 at 10:26 am
            First qualification is one should be a bhakt. All are now Govt pleaders of various state govt and central Govt. The privileged ones are going to be judges. Ramrajya ahead.
            1. J
              Joseph R Stephen
              Nov 1, 2016 at 7:57 am
    ;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Supreme court should put some sense into MODI;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Next the court should address why there is rapes in the country every 5 minutes. What action the government going to;br/gt;lt;br/gt;When stan attacks our border the entire government is working to attack;br/gt;lt;br/gt;But here within the country our women , girls are attacked every minute - why there not even a whisper from the BJP government.
              1. R
                Nov 1, 2016 at 9:03 am
                These so called judges should judge their system as well . Hpw come Salman Khan Shahubudin gets bail in less than 2 hours in murder case in which they were proven guilty by the judge and Asaa ram without any conviction or trial even did not get bail in three years. Peoples like Aasa Ram if proven guilty should be put behind the bars permanently. What about Shaubudin and Salman Khan both are convicted murders
                1. S
                  S L
                  Nov 1, 2016 at 9:26 am
                  Judiciary is the least trusted arm of Indian democracy.Judges have started believing that they are the most priviledged aristocratic cl of India and are beyond the pail of accountability.
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