Collegium Gives Reasons For Recommending Elevation Of Two Judges To Apex Court, Justice KM Joseph Opposes Elevation Of Gujarat HC CJ
The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of Allahabad High Court’s Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court’s Chief Justice Aravind Kumar for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court.
The statement of the Collegium published yesterday, gives reasons for proposing the two names, one of whom, Justice Bindal is at Serial No. 2 in the combined All-India-seniority of High Court Judges while Justice Kumar is at Serial No. 26.
The resolution of the Collegium in regard to the appointment of Justice Rajesh Bindal was unanimous. However, in regard to the appointment of Justice Aravind Kumar, Justice K M Joseph expressed his reservations on the ground that his name can be considered at a later stage.
“On 13 December 2022, the Collegium recommended five names for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court, namely (i) Mr Justice Pankaj Mithal, (ii) Mr Justice Sanjay Karol, (iii) Mr Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, (iv) Mr Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, and (v) Mr Justice Manoj Misra. Their appointment is yet to be notified by the Government. The Collegium resolves to recommend two more names for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court against the two remaining vacancies.”, the Collegium Resolution dated January 31, 2023 read.
On the appointment of Justice Rajesh Bindal, the Collegium Resolution read-
“Mr Justice Rajesh Bindal was appointed as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 22March 2006. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad on 11 October 2021. Mr Justice Bindal stands at Sl. No.02 in the combined All-India-seniority of High Court Judges. He is the seniormost Judge hailing from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. While recommending his name, the Collegium has taken into consideration the fact that the Punjab and Haryana High Court which is one of the largest High Courts with a sanctioned strength of eighty five judges is not adequately represented on the Bench of the Supreme Court. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana is a common High Court for two States.”
On the appointment of Justice Aravind Kumar, the Collegium Resolution read-
“Mr Justice Aravind Kumar was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court on 26 June 2009 and as permanent Judge on 07 December 2012. He was elevated as Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat on 13 October 2021. Mr Justice Aravind Kumar stands at Sl. No.26 in the combined All-India-seniority of High Court Judges. While recommending his name, the Collegium is conscious of the fact that in the seniority of Judges hailing from the Karnataka High Court, Mr Justice Aravind Kumar stands at Sl. No.02 and that at present, the Bench of the Supreme Court is represented by two Judges from the Karnataka High Court.”
It has been further stated that the names recommended earlier by the Collegium by its resolution dated December 13, 2022 shall have precedence over the two names recommended presently for appointment to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Collegium comprised of CJI Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice K.M. Joseph, Justice M.R. Shah, Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.