SC collegium stands firm on Manjunath's elevation

Turns down centre's suggestion to reconsider the move

deevakar

Deevakar Anand | July 16, 2014



The supreme court (SC) collegium – a panel consisting of senior judges – has put its foot down for appointment of Karnataka high court (HC)  judge KL Manjunath as chief justice of Punjab and Haryana HC, turning down the government’s suggestion to reconsider it.

This comes close on the heels of a face-off between the judiciary and the government over former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium’s candidature for elevation as an SC judge.

The law ministry had sent back justice Manjunath’s recommendation to the collegium after a senior judge wrote adverse note, questioning his elevation.

Though the details of the comments have not been known yet, media reports say the law ministry consulted prime minister Narendra Modi in this matter.

On Tuesday, the collegium, however, did not find any merit in the apprehensions raised by the government and reiterated its recommendation to make him the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana HC.

Going by the rules, the centre is left with no other option but to approve his elevation.

In June, the Modi government had sent back the name of Gopal Subramanium for elevation as an SC judge. Subramanium then withdrew his consent to be a judge and accused the government of “serious constitution aberration” and “orchestrated drama”.

On July 7, chief justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha, at a farewell function for a fellow judge, called the government’s objection to Subramnium’s elevation as judge a unilateral decision on which he was not consulted. In a letter to the law ministry, he made clear his displeasure on the issue asking the government not to indulge in such unilateral acts in future without taking his consent.

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