The Supreme Court Collegium has signed off on the appointment of nine judges to the Madras High Court. While doing so, the three seniormost judges of the apex court have rejected two names recommended for elevation by the High Court.
All of the nine names cleared by the Collegium are lawyers. Those slated for elevation are Subramonium Prasad, PT Asha, Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, GK Ilanthiraiyan, C Emalias, C Saravanan, N Anand Venkatesh, M Nirmal Kumar and Krishnan Ramaswamy.
Subramonium Prasad is an Additional Advocate General for Tamil Nadu. C Saravanan is a 1994 graduate of National Law School of India Universtity (NLSIU) Bangalore. Senthil Ramamoorthy is a Partner at Dua Associates in Chennai.
Two other lawyers – AV Radhakrishnan and B Pugalendhi – were also recommended for elevation by the High Court. However, given the fact that the former had crossed the maximum age limit of 55 years at the time of the recommendation, he was deemed to be unsuitable for elevation. The Collegium notes in its resolution that it had received certain adverse but unconfirmed inputs against Pugalendhi, and therefore, kept his elevation on hold.
The Collegium resolution also notes that the Intelligence Bureau had given the green signal to all eleven names, and that certain frivolous complaints were made against the prospective judges.
“We have taken note of certain complaints against the recommendations made by the High Court Collegium. We find that the allegations made therein are frivolous and / or malicious in nature and appear to have been made with an ulterior motive to put spoke in the wheel of judicial appointment process. In our considered opinion, hardly any credence can be attached to such complaints…”
Should the elevation of these nine names go through, the Madras High Court will have a total of 69 judges, just 6 shy of its sanctioned strength of 75.
Six new judges were recently sworn in to the Madras High Court, taking the number of sitting woman judges to eleven, the highest it has ever been. With the prospective appointment of Asha, the High Court will continue to have the highest number of woman judges across the 24 high courts with 12 woman judges, ahead of the High Courts of Bombay and Delhi, which have 10 each.
As reported earlier, the Collegium had met on Monday to consider appointments to various high courts. Apart from the Madras High Court, the Collegium was reported to have been considering recommendations for elevation to the Karnataka High Court, Gujarat High Court, Calcutta High Court, Bombay High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court and Gauhati High Court.
Read the resolution: