16 July:The Supreme Court on Wednesday fixed 9th September for final disposal of a PIL challenging the appointment of judges of various high courts alleging violation of established rules and norms.
A bench of Justices headed by Justice while posting the matter for final disposal also took on record the written submission made by the Union Government.
The Centre reiterated its oral arguments that additional and permanent judges of the high court can be made by the Chief Justice of India after obtaining the consent of two senior most judges of the Supreme Court which constitutes the collegium.
It also admitted that a total of 351 Additional Judges have been appointed as permanent judges between 1st January, 1999 to 31st July , 2007 by successive Chief Justices without consulting the collegium.
Former Union Law Minister Shanti Bhushan had filed the petition challenging Justice Ashok Kumar’s elevation on the ground that the Chief Justice of India had taken the decision without the concurrence of the Supreme Court collegium as required under the rules.
Justice Kumar, serving as additional judge of the high court, was appointed as a permanent judge in February 2007.
According to the petitioner, the appointment was in violation of the rules as the Chief Justice failed to consult two senior most judges while making the appointment.
Citing the nine-member Constitution Bench ruling in earlier cases, the petition said that appointment or elevation of a judge to the High Courts or the Supreme Court can be made by the Chief Justice of India only with the concurrence of the collegium comprising two senior most judges.
The petition pointed out that though the then Chief Justice of India R C Lahoti and the collegium of Justice Ruma Pal and Justice Y K Sabharwal rejected the case of Justice Ashok Kumar’s elevation, due to adverse reports against the judge, the present Chief Justice has confirmed his appointment without consulting the collegium. Courtsey DD NEWS