The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has continued into 2022 its marathon recommendations and reiterations to fill up vacancies in High Courts across the country.
The Collegium met on February 1 and finalised the names of lawyers and judicial officers for appointment as judges to seven different High Courts, including Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi.
February 1 happened to be the very day the government published the latest list of vacancies in the High Courts. The latest statistics published by the Law and Justice Ministry on February 1 showed that the judicial vacancies in the 25 High Courts total 411. The sanctioned judicial strength in the High Courts is 1098. That means 687 judges form the working strength of the High Courts’ judiciary.
Chief Justice Ramana has termed judicial appointments an “ongoing process”, while Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has said the government needs to do due diligence on the recommended names and the process cannot be restricted to a timeline. On April 20 last year, a Special Bench of the Supreme Court had fixed timelines for the various stages in the appointments process, saying the “exercise is collaborative in nature and we would expect promptness in this process to facilitate the larger cause of dispensation of timely justice”.
12 for Telangana
The February 1 meeting has been no different as far as the number of recommendations/reiterations to the High Courts are concerned. The Collegium has recommended seven advocates and five judicial officers for elevation as judges of the Telangana HC alone. They are advocates Kasoju Surendhar, Chada Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy, Surepalli Nanda, Mummineni Sudheer Kumar, Juvvadi Sridevi, Mirza Safiulla Baig, Natcharaju Shravan Kumar Venkat, and judicial officers G. Anupama Chakravarthy, M.G. Priyadarshini, Sambasivarao Naidu, A. Santosh Reddy and D. Nagarjun.
Similarly, the Collegium has recommended a total of six judicial officers for elevation to the Delhi High Court. They are Poonam A. Bamba, Neena Bansal Krishna, Dinesh Kumar Sharma, Anoop Kumar Mendiratta, Swarana Kanta Sharma and Sudhir Kumar Jain. The Collegium also approved the proposal for elevation of advocate Rajiv Roy to the Patna High Court Bench.
The Collegium has made several reiterations of its earlier recommendations for elevation to various High Courts. They include advocate Cheppudira Monnappa Poonacha for Karnataka High Court; advocates Khatim Reza and Dr. Anshuman Pandey for Patna High Court; Shampa Dutt (Paul) and Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury for Calcutta HC; judicial officers U.S. Joshi-Phalke and B.P. Deshpande for Bombay HC; and judicial officer Pradeep Kumar Srivastava for the Jharkhand High Court.