Six high courts to get new chiefs; 3 names cleared after three months | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Six high courts to get new chiefs; 3 names cleared after three months

By, New Delhi
Feb 03, 2024 09:32 AM IST

After withholding the collegium’s recommendations for three months, the government on Friday evening notified their appointments

The Union government on Friday notified the appointment of chief justices in six high courts even as three of these recommendations of the collegium remained pending for the last three months.

While the government notified three recommendations made by the collegium on December 27, it left out two others (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
While the government notified three recommendations made by the collegium on December 27, it left out two others (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The names of justices Ritu Bahri, Chakradhari Sharan Singh and S Vaidyanathan were recommended as chief justices for the high courts of Uttarakhand, Orissa and Meghalaya on November 2. After withholding the collegium’s recommendations for three months, the government on Friday evening notified their appointments.

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While Orissa high court was functioning without a full-time chief justice since October 4, the Uttarakhand high court did not have its chief since October 27. The other four high courts have also functioned without their full-time chief justices for over two months each.

Three other names cleared as chief justices for the high courts of Allahabad, Rajasthan and Gauhati are justices Arun Bhansali, Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Vijay Bishnoi.These three names were recommended by the collegium, led by Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, on December 27.

While the government notified three recommendations made by the collegium on December 27, it left out two others. The collegium had on the same day made the recommendations for appointing justices Sheel Nagu and BR Sarangi as chief justices in the high courts of Punjab and Haryana and Jharkhand respectively. But their names are yet to be cleared. In contrast, the government cleared the name of the new chief justice of Karnataka high court in less than a fortnight. The collegium recommended the appointment of justice PS Dinesh Kumar as the chief justice of Karnataka high court on January 19 and his appointment was notified on January 31.

The memorandum of procedure of appointment (MoP) of high court judges – a guidebook of understanding between the Supreme Court collegium and the central government in matters of appointment and transfer of judges of constitutional courts, lays down that “the Government have, in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, decided as a matter of policy to appoint the Chief Justice of all High Courts from outside.” The MoP was framed in 1999 as the standard based on three decisions of the Supreme Court that evolved the collegium system as the selection mechanism for the appointment of judges in India.

The first three judges of the Supreme Court, including the CJI, comprise the collegium that make the recommendation for the appointment of chief justices in high courts.

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