SC refuses to accept govt’s rejection of 43 names recommended by collegium

The Collegium had hand-picked 78 names from state judicial services to appoint as judges of the various high courts

The Supreme Court Collegium on Friday refused to accept the Central government’s rejection of 43 names recommended by the Collegium for judicial appointments in High Courts across the country.

“We have reiterated 43 names for the appointment as judges of high courts which were rejected by the government and have been sent back for reconsideration,” a SC bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and A R Dave said on Friday.

The Collegium had hand-picked 78 names from state judicial services and forwarded to the government for approval. The Centre on Tuesday had told the court that it has cleared 34 names out of the names recommended by the collegium.

AG, appearing for the Centre, had told the bench earlier, “out of total 77 names, 34 names have been cleared for the appointment and rest 43 recommendations have been sent back to the apex court collegium for reconsideration.”

Earlier, the Supreme Court had criticised the Centre for failing to appoint High Court judges despite the recommendations given by the Apex Court as per the collegium system.

The SC asked whether the Centre intends to bring the entire judiciary to a “grinding halt” by sitting on recommendations of the Collegium.

“If you have a problem with a name suggested by us, send the file back to us. We will look into it… This is some kind of a logjam and this whole situation is getting very difficult,” Chief Justice Thakur said in August.

According to latest data, the 24 high courts in the country are short of 470 judges, up from 443 in January this year.