April 8, 2011 3:42:13 am
After initial reluctance to part with the information,the Ministry of Law and Justice has disclosed a list of about 20 Chief Justices of High Courts,who were superseded before being elevated to the Supreme Court since 2005.
According to the ministrys reply to an RTI application,Supreme Court judge Justice H L Gokhale was superseded seven times in three years starting 2007 as Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court and later transferred as Chief Justice of Madras High Court before being elevated to the apex court on April 30,2010.
The reply of the ministry,which had earlier said that no such list of Chief Justices of HCs who were superseded before their selection as apex court judges was being maintained,came after the Central Information Commission refused to accept that disclosure of such information is prohibited under the RTI Act.
The list provided by the ministry also includes the names of Justices D K Jain,Markandeya Katju,V S Sripurkar,G S Singhvi,M K Sharma,A K Patnaik,Cyriac Joseph,J M Panchal,A K Ganguly,Swatanter Kumar,H L Dattu,R M Lodha,T S Thakur,B S Chauhan,K P S Radhakrishnan,A R Dave and C K Prasad.
The Chief Justices,based on their seniority,are selected for elevation to the apex court by the collegium. The list provided by the ministry contains names of only those judges who were ultimately selected for the Supreme Court after being superseded at least once.
The list shows that Justice Patnaik was superseded five times during 2007-09 before being elevated to the Supreme Court on November 17,2009.
Earlier,citing Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act,the Central Public Information Officer of the Presidents Secretariat had refused to part with information regarding certain appointments made to the Supreme Court and the High Court. He claimed that this information is exempt from disclosure under the Act.
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