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Advocates protesting the lack of personnel at the Karnataka High Court have suspended their hunger strike, in light of information that the Centre has signed off on five recommendations for elevation.
In a joint meeting convened today by the Advocates Association, Bangalore, the Karnataka State Bar Council and Senior Advocates of the High Court, it was resolved to put an end to the protests, after “credible information” was received that the Centre has assented to five names recommended by the Collegium for elevation to the High Court.
Back in December last year, the Supreme Court Collegium had recommended five members of the Bar – Krishna S Dixit, Ramakrishna Devdas, BM Shyam Prasad, Shankar Ganapathi Pandit and S Sunil Dutt Yadav – for elevation to the Karnataka High Court.
Krishna Dixit is the Additional Solicitor General of India in the Karnataka High Court, while R Devdas and BM Shyam Prasad are Senior Advocates. Sunil Dutt Yadav a graduate of National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, will be the third NLSIU alumnus to be elevated to a high court.
And in light of the Centre’s green signal to these five names, the lawyers have decided to suspend the protests, which started on Monday, provided the Centre clears the five names within one week from today.
It has also been demanded that the others names recommended by the High Court Collegium and pending with the senior most judges of the Supreme Court be cleared within a week.
Further, the lawyers intend to send a delegation led by Senior Advocate BV Acharya to meet the new Chief Justice of the High Court Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and demand the recommendation of twenty members of the Bar for elevation to the High Court.
The resolution ends with the lawyers thanking President of India Ram Nath Kovind, to whom a representation was given to earlier this week, former Law Minister Sadananada Gowda, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, and former Supreme Court judge Justice Gopala Gowda, among others, for making the agitation a success.
The chief gripe of the lawyers is that more than 60% of the posts of the High Court are currently lying vacant. The retirement of personnel over the last couple of years has not been offset by fresh appointments, the last of which was made in February 2017. The High Court is presently functioning with 24 judges, as against a sanctioned strength of 62.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Senior Advocate DLN Rao pointed out that the appointment of five judges would not suffice, given the fact that two judges of the High Court will retire later this year.
“We have made an appeal to the High Court Collegium to immediately recommended more names, because while these five judges are coming in, two other judges are retiring in May and June. Another judge will retire at the end of the year, so we will go back to square one.”
Read the resolution: