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SC Collegium recommends names of new Chief Justices for 10 High Courts and 2 SC Judges

The Supreme Court collegium on Thursday made public the names it has recommended for appointment as chief justices of 10 high courts.

It also made recommendations regarding the appointment of two Supreme Court Judges: Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph and Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra, who is going to be the first woman lawyer directly appointed from the Bar.

All the collegium recommendations regarding the appointment of two Supreme Court Judges and High Court Chief Justices have been published on the Supreme Court website.

On 10th January, the Collegium had recommended the two names for appointment as Apex Court Judges. However, according to a report by the Indian Express, it was only on January 22 that CJI Misra formally forwarded the recommendation of the Collegium to the Union law ministry. The collegium comprised of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi.

The recommendations have been made for the High Courts of Delhi, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Calcutta, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Manipur.

Delhi High Court:
The collegium has recommended Justice Aniruddha Bose, a senior judge of the Calcutta High Court, for appointment as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.

The post had been vacant since April 2017, after the retirement of Justice G Rohini. Justice Gita Mittal had been the acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court since then.

Calcutta High Court:
The collegium has approved elevation of Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya as chief justices of Calcutta High Court. Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya hails from Calcutta High Court and is due to retire in September this year. Thus the Collegium has invoked the provision of the Memorandum of Procedure which provides for elevation of a puisne (a term used for any other judge who is junior to the chief justice) judge as chief justice in his own high court if he has one year or less to retire.

Meghalaya High Court:
The name of Justice Tarun Agrawala, the senior-most judge of the Allahabad High Court, has been approved for appointment as the chief justice of Meghalaya High Court. He was elevated as the Allahabad High Court judge on 7th January, 2004.

Manipur High Court:
Justice Abhilasha Kumari, a judge in the Gujarat High Court, has been recommended to be appointed as the chief justice of Manipur high court. She was also the senior most judge from Himachal High Court.

The collegium, in its recommendations, has mentioned that it has taken into consideration the fact that at present there is no Chief Justice from Himachal Pradesh High Court and that the turn of Mrs. Justice Abhilasha Kumari to be considered for appointment has arrived on 17th February, 2017 when Justice Deepak Gupta (PHC: Himachal Pradesh) was elevated to the Supreme Court.

Kerala High Court:

The collegium has approved elevation of Justice Antony Dominic as chief justices of Kerala High Court.
Since Justice Dominic is to retire within a year, the collegium has invoked the provision of the Memorandum of Procedure which provides for elevation of a puisne (a term used for any other judge who is junior to the chief justice) judge as chief justice in his own high court if he has one year or less to retire.

Karnataka High Court:
Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, has been proposed by the collegiums for the post of the new chief justice of Karnataka High Court.

Chattisgarh High Court:
The name of Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi of the Patna High Court has been proposed for appointment as chief justice of Chhattisgarh High Court.
He is the senior-most Judge from the Patna High Court and is serving in that High Court since his elevation on 9th October, 2006.

Himachal Pradesh High Court:
Justice Surya Kant has been recommended by the collegiums for elevation as chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. He is the senior puisne Judge from Punjab & Haryana High Court and is serving in that High Court since his elevation on 9th January, 2004.

The Collegium in this regard while making the recommendation has added, “It is deemed necessary to add here that while making the above recommendation, we have also considered the name of Mr. Justice A.K. Mittal, who hails from the same High Court as does Mr. Justice Surya Kant. Though Mr. Justice A.K. Mittal is senior to Mr. Justice Surya Kant in the seniority of Judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, having regard to all relevant factors and since we consider Mr. Justice Surya Kant more suitable than Mr. Justice A.K. Mittal, we are not recommending name of the latter, for the present, for appointment as Chief Justice.”

Tripura High Court:
Justice Ajay Rastogi, the senior most judge of the Rajasthan High Court, has been nominated as chief justice of the Tripura High Court. He has been serving in the Rajasthan High Court since his elevation on 2nd September, 2004.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court:
Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court, Justice T B Radhakrishnan, has been recommended by the collegiums to be transferred to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court, in the interest of better administration of justice.

Transfer:
The collegium has also recommended transfer of Guwahati High Court judge Justice Hrishikesh Roy to Kerala High Court.

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