The Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated the name of Advocate R. John Sathyan as a Judge of the Madras High Court, whose name was originally recommended on February 16, 2022.

One of the objections of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was that John Sathyan made a social media post regarding the suicide of medical aspirant Anitha in 2017 since she was unable to clear NEET, portraying it as a killing by "political betrayal" and a tag stating "shame of you India".

The suicide of S. Anitha in 2017 had led to large-scale protests in Tamil Nadu against the NEET exams. The Supreme Court had to intervene to curb the protest in Tamil Nadu after her suicide. The Vice Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes had said that he suspects some ‘external forces’ to have a hand in her suicide. Anitha had approached the Supreme Court by seeking to implead in the plea challenging the NEET exams.

It was also reported by the IB that John Sathyan shared an article published in ‘The Quint’, which was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as per the statement issued by the Collegium comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph.

".... the adverse comments of the IB extracted above in respect of posts made by him i.e. sharing an article published in ‘The Quint’ and another post regarding committing of suicide by a medical aspirant candidate in 2017 will not impinge on the suitability, character or integrity of Shri Sathyan", the Collegium said through its statement of January 17.

The statement also said that all the consulted Judges had a favourable opinion about the suitability of John Sathyan. "The Intelligence Bureau has reported that he enjoys a good personal and professional image and that nothing adverse has come to notice against his integrity. Shri Sathyan belongs to the Christian community. The IB report notes that he does not have any overt political leanings", the statement said.

The statement said that the Collegium is of the considered opinion that John Sathyan is fit and suitable for being appointed as a Judge of the Madras High Court.

While reiterating its earlier recommendation, the Collegium also recommended that John be given precedence in appointment over other names separately recommended by the Collegium on the same day for appointment as Judges of the Madras High Court.

Click here to read/download Statement