The government does not maintain any record of supersession in elevation of judges to the Supreme Court or as Chief Justices of High Courts.
In a reply to an RTI activist, who wanted to know whether seniority was overlooked in the recommendation to elevate Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court Chandramouli Kumar Prasad, the Law Ministry said no record of such information was maintained and therefore data could not be furnished.
Volley of questions
The application by Subash Chandra Agrawal, filed in December last, quoted media reports about supersession of judges in making appointments to the Supreme Court, and sought a host of details: Is it correct that the name of Justice Prasad was recommended for being appointed Supreme Court judge? If yes, clarifications sought by the President before clearing his name. Are there any submissions/representations received by the President/Union government against clearing his elevation? If yes, please provide copies of such submissions/representations. Has any representation/submission been received against superseding Justice Gyan Sudha Misra (Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court) in the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court? If yes, please provide a copy of the submission/representation. Names of others received at the Rashtrapati Bhavan together with that of Justice Swatanter Kumar for elevation to the Supreme Court; details of Chief Justices of High Courts where representations/submissions were received against their superseding others as judges of the Supreme Court; and details of Chief Justices of High Courts who could ultimately be elevated to the Supreme Court after being superseded at least once [like the case of Justice A.K. Patnaik, at present a Supreme Court judge].”
Appeal to President’s Secretariat
Following the Law Ministry’s reply, Mr. Agrawal filed an appeal to the President’s Secretariat seeking the same information, after The Hindu published a report that the President had cleared Justice Prasad’s appointment to the Supreme Court.