The Madras High Court today dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Subramonium Prasad as a judge of the Court, finding that there was no violation of the eligibility criteria under Article 217 of the Constitution to call for the Court’s intervention..When the case came up for admission before the Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice PT Asha, it was observed that the Chief Justice would not have ordinarily heard such a petition. However, since Chief Justice Banerjee was not part of the Collegium that recommended Justice Subramonium Prasad for elevation, she agreed to take up the case..The petitioner, Advocate M Radhakrishnan, had challenged Justice Prasad’s appointment on the ground that he had not practiced as an advocate in the Madras High Court or courts subordinate to it in Tamil Nadu for the requisite minimum period of ten years..His arguments were oriented towards giving a broader interpretation of Article 217 (2), which deals with the eligibility for appointment of judges. Inter alia, it requires that in order to be qualified for appointment as a High Court judge, the person should have at least 10 years’ experience as an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession. .It was the petitioner’s case that this provision should not be interpreted in isolation, but rather read in light of the duties of the Collegium to ascertain the suitability of the judge, as laid down in various judgments..In particular, the cases of RG High Court of Madras v. R Gandhi And Ors, Supreme Court Advocate-on Record Association & Anr v. Union of India, and Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and another v. Union of India were referred to..On a reading of the guidelines laid down for the appointment of judges in these cases, Radhakrishnan had argued that the High Court Collegium did not have any material to ascertain the suitability of Justice Prasad to his post since he has not practiced in the courts of Tamil Nadu..Countering these arguments, ASG G Rajagopalan pointed out that Justice Prasad was a designated Senior Advocate, who has served as Tamil Nadu’s standing counsel in the Supreme Court..The Court ruled against the challenge after noting that it cannot sit in appeal over the decisions of the High Court and Supreme Court Collegium on the question of whether Justice Subramonium Prasad is suitable for appointment..Referring to precedents, including the NJAC case, the Court observed that the question of suitability of judicial appointments was beyond the scope of judicial review. It was noted that this question of suitability was different from the objective standard of eligibility..On the question of eligibility, the Bench found that it was not a case where the appointment has been made in blatant violation of Article 217 of the Constitution. The petition was therefore dismissed.