Friday, January 27th, 2023 03:03:08

Controversy again on appointment of judges, the collegium recommended a gay lawyer; the name of PM Modi’s critic also there

Updated: January 20, 2023 2:56 pm

New Delhi: The tussle between the Central Government and the Supreme Court Collegium has further increased. The Supreme Court Collegium has taken such a step, which has rarely happened. A statement published on the Supreme Court website has revealed in detail why the names recommended by the collegium for appointment as judges in high courts have been rejected by the central government. In this statement, the reports of intelligence agency RAW and IB related to the appointment of judges in the High Court have also been made public, which is unexpected in itself.

According to a Bar and Bench report, the Collegium had sent the name of Advocate Saurabh Kirpal for appointment as a judge in the Delhi High Court. The central government rejected his name, arguing that he was gay and could be biased. Also there is the question of national security as his partner is Swiss national. The Collegium has responded by saying that the Constitution guarantees sexual freedom. The appointment of Saurabh Kripal will bring diversity in the Delhi High Court. Having a foreign partner cannot be a ground for disqualification.

Similarly, the collegium had recommended the name of Somasekhar Sundaresan for appointment as a judge in the Bombay High Court. According to the report, the government’s stand is that Sundaresan had given his opinion on pending cases on social media. Responding to this, the collegium has said that the opinion of a candidate on any issue cannot be the reason for his disqualification.

The collegium recommended the name of R John Sathyan for appointment to the Madras High Court. The government argues that Sathyan had shared an article on his social media handle criticising PM Narendra Modi. Also shared an article related to the suicide of a medical student. The Collegium has countered the government’s contention that sharing of an article cannot question the merit, dignity and character of a candidate.

The Collegium has also expressed strong objection to the Union Law Ministry’s Department of Justice (DoJ). In fact, the collegium had recommended the names of advocates Amitesh Banerjee and Shakya Sen for appointment as judges in the Calcutta High Court, which has been pending with the government since July 2019.

Posted by Uday India

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