February 3, 2018 6:32:41 am
The Supreme Court Collegium resolution of January 10, made public Thursday, reveals that Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal, the senior-most judge after the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice S J Vazifdar, has been superseded by his immediate junior Justice Surya Kant, despite being considered for elevation to the post of Chief Justice of another High Court. This is the second time when Justice Mittal was considered for elevation but not selected. Though Justice Mittal is four years senior in age to Justice Kant, they were elevated to the bench of the High Court on same day in 2004. Justice Kant has now been recommended for the post of Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court.
“We have also considered the name of Mr Justice A K Mittal, who hails from the same High Court as does Mr Justice Surya Kant. Though Mr Justice A K Mittal is senior to Mr Justice Surya Kant in the seniority of Judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, having regard to all relevant factors and since we consider Mr Justice Surya Kant more suitable than Mr Justice A K Mittal, we are not recommending name of the latter, for the present, for appointment as Chief Justice,” the resolution by the Supreme Court Collegium comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Ranjan Gogoi says.
Last year, Justice Mittal was considered for elevation to the post of Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court Collegium had then prevented the supersession as Justice S S Saron, who was immediate senior of Justice Mittal, was about to retire. There were differences among the apex court judges then on the elevation in view of Justice Saron’s imminent retirement.
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