The Central government has asked the Supreme Court to re-consider its recommendation to elevate Jharkhand High Court and Gauhati High Court Chief Justices Aniruddha Bose and A.S. Bopanna, respectively, to the Supreme Court.
Sources said the government cited ‘regional imbalance’ for suggesting the re-think and returned the file to the Supreme Court Collegium.
Justice Bose’s parent High Court is Calcutta and Justice Bopanna’s is Karnataka. Justice Bose stands at number 12 in the combined seniority of High Court judges on all-India basis and Justice Bopanna come in at number 36 in the list.
Justices Bose and Bopanna were recommended for elevation by a five-judge Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on April 12.
The Collegium is expected to meet soon to decide on the government’s suggestion. If the Collegium reiterates the names, the government is bound to process the appointments.
Presently there are 27 judges in the Supreme Court. If the two judges are eventually appointed, the number would go up to 29. The sanctioned judicial strength in the Supreme Court is 31.
On April 12, the Collegium had found the two judges “more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts, for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India”.