In another flashpoint in the ongoing tussle between the central government and the judiciary, the Supreme Court on Friday said that it has not accepted the government’s decision to reject 43 of the 77 names recommended by the collegium for appointment as judges of high courts.
“We have reiterated 43 names for the appointment as judges of high courts which were rejected by the government and have been sent back for reconsideration,” a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice A.R. Dave said.
The court’s comment came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi reminded the bench about the statement made by him during the last hearing on Tuesday.
The CJI, who heads the five-member collegium of judges, told him that “we have seen”.
The AG expressed his ignorance about the latest development saying “I am not aware about it”.
The Centre had told the court on Tuesday that it has cleared 34 names out of the 77 recommended by the collegium for appointment as judges in various high courts.
The government had told the apex court that no file on the appointment of judges was pending with it.
“Out of total 77 names, 34 names have been cleared for the appointment and rest 43 recommendations have been sent back to the apex court collegium for reconsideration,” the attorney general, appearing for the Union government, had told the bench.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing after the winter vacation.
Rohatgi had told the court on November 11 that the Union government had sent the fresh draft of the Memorandum of Procedure for the consideration of the collegium, on August 3, but so far no response has been received by the government.
The apex court had earlier rapped the government for delay in appointments to higher judiciary despite recommendations made by the collegium in this regard and had said the entire institution cannot be brought to a grinding halt.
(With PTI inputs)