Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Appointment Of SC Advocates As High Court Judges, Imposes ₹50k Cost
The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea challenging the appointment of Supreme Court Advocates as High Court Judges.
The bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka observed that there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court to be appointed as a Judge of the High Court.
Petitioner Ashok Pandey, who is an Advocate, contended that as per his interpretation of Article 217 of the Constitution, a person who may have been enrolled with a State Bar Council and subsequently shifted practice in the Supreme Court is ineligible to be appointed as a Judge of that Court.
He said that four names have been recommended in the list of recommendation from the Allahabad High Court of lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court.
He further stated that in last three years, six such persons have been appointed.
He contended that by reason of the interpretation he sought to make of Article 217(2) of the Constitution the current matter ought to have been posted before a Constitution Bench.
The Court noted that on a bare reading, the petition is meritless and complete wastage of judicial time.
“The method of recommendation envisages the Collegium of the High Court to recommend the name consisting of the Chief Justice and the two senior most Judges, whereafter the Government inputs, including the IB obtained and the Supreme Court Collegium of the first three Judges after obtaining inputs from the consulting Judges takes a call. There is nothing in the Constitution which provides the prohibition for lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court to be appointed as a Judge of the High Court.”, the Court observed.
Thus the Court dismissed the petition with costs of Rs. 50000.
“Looking to the nature of matter and the judicial time and the fact that the petitioner ought to have known better the law, we dismiss the petition with costs of Rs. 50,000/- to be deposited within four weeks in the Supreme Court Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC).”, the Court held.
Cause Title- Ashok Pandey v. Union of India & Ors