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Centre to apprise SC collegium on 4 lawyers

April 03, 2019 06:50 AM


Centre to apprise SC collegium on 4 lawyers


The Centre is believed to have decided to apprise the Supreme Court collegium of reasons why four lawyers of Punjab and Haryana high court cannot be considered for elevation as high court judges.

In January this year, the Punjab and Haryana high court collegium, comprising three senior-most judges — Chief Justice Krishna Murari, Justice A K Mittal and Justice Mahesh Grover — had recommended the names of eight lawyers for elevation as high court judges. These four lawyers are part of this group.

Significantly, these four lawyers against whom the Centre has expressed serious reservations are the same whose names were recommended earlier but had been sent back by the SC collegium. Their names were recommended for the second time this January.

‘Adverse remarks against two pertain to integrity’

Sources confirmed to TOI that after a meeting held last week, the Union government decided to communicate to the SC collegium in writing about the “remarks and background check reports” of these four lawyers received from the Intelligence Bureau.

The remarks, given by the central agency after thorough background check and comprehensive verification, against these four lawyers are reportedly adverse in nature.

The central government, according to sources, has also given adverse remarks against two of the remaining four lawyers on the issue of “integrity.”

In January, the high court collegium forwarded names of eight lawyers — Punit Bali, I P S Doabia, J S Puri, Kamal Sehgal, Vikas Bahl, Girish Agnihotri, Suvir Sehgal and Alka Sarin. The names of Girish Agnihotri, Kamal Sehgal, J S Puri and Suvir Sehgal were recommended for second time this January.

On recommendation by the high court collegium, the names are forwarded to the Supreme Court after clearance from the governors of Punjab and Haryana. Thereafter, the reports of Intelligence Bureau are considered for background check and to know the antecedents of the recommended candidates.

Finally, the reports are placed before the SC collegium, which makes recommendation to the Centre before the final orders are released by the President of India.

The Punjab and Haryana high court is facing huge shortage of judges, as there are only 52 judges at present against the sanctioned strength of 85

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