In an apparent effort to ward off criticism of opaqueness, the Supreme Court collegium has broken the tradition by interacting with as many as 12 lawyers and trial court judges who were recommended for appointment as permanent judges in the Calcutta and Madhya Pradesh High Courts.
The apex court collegium, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and two senior-most judges justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi, created a history of sorts by conducting an informal interview of the persons who were shortlisted by the respective High Court collegiums.
The Supreme Court collegium considered various materials, including the views of the state Chief Ministers as forwarded by their respective Governors and the Intelligence Bureau reports.
“Apart from this, we invited all the recommendees with a view to have an interaction with them,” the collegium noted in its decision.
For the Calcutta High Court, the collegium has recommended the names of five advocates—Biswajit Basu, Amrita Sinha, Dr Sutanu Kumar Patra, Abhijit Gangopadhyay and Jay Sengupta.
It has recommended the names of advocate Sanjay Dwivedi, and four judicial officers—Akhil Kumar Shrivastava, Brij Kishore Shrivastava, Rajendra Kumar Shrivastava and Mohd Fahim Anwar, for appointment as permanent judges in the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The collegium recommended Justice Ramendra Jain, additional judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to be appointed as a permanent judge in the same court and said that “since the current term of Justice Jain is going to expire shortly on April 19, 2018, the Collegium resolves that the above recommendation for appointment of Justice Jain as permanent judge be processed expeditiously.”