Supreme Court flays Centre over delay in notifying John Sathyan as judge in Madras High Court

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said names recommended earlier can be neither "overlooked" nor "withheld"

March 23, 2023 01:25 am | Updated 09:29 am IST - NEW DELHI

Advocate R. John Sathyan

Advocate R. John Sathyan

The Supreme Court Collegium has made sharp remarks against the government's unexplained delay in notifying the name of advocate R. John Sathyan for judgeship in the Madras High Court.

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said names recommended earlier, including those that have been reiterated, can be neither "overlooked" nor "withheld" as it would disturb their seniority. The Collegium accused the government of pick-and-choose policy while notifying names for judgeships.

Advocate Sathyan's name was first recommended by the Collegium on February 16, 2022. It was reiterated on January 18, 2023. However, there is no word from the government about his notification as judge.

Despite specific instruction from the Collegium that he should be notified as Madras High Court judge first before any others in order to retain his seniority, the government had gone ahead and appointed Justice Victoria Gowri as a judge over him.

Also read | Necessary pushback: On the Supreme Court Collegium’s reiteration of recommendations

"The names which have been recommended earlier in point of time including the reiterated names ought not to be withheld or overlooked as this disturbs their seniority whereas those recommended later steal march on them. Loss of seniority of candidates recommended earlier in point of time has been noted by the Collegium and is a matter of grave concern," the Collegium said in its latest resolution of March 21.

The Collegium, in its March 21 resolution, proposed the names of four judicial officers, R. Sakthivel, P. Dhanabal, Chinnasamy Kumparappan and K. Rajasekar as judges of the Madras High Court.

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