Pinnacle judges divided over proposed transfer of MP HC judge to Delhi

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According to people tuned in to the matter, a proposal to transfer justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav from Madhya Pradesh to the capital is facing stiff opposition within the top court.

The proposed transfer of a judge from the judicature of Madhya Pradesh to the Delhi tribunal has left the Supreme Court justices divided, and brought into question the collegium’s transfer policy.

According to people responsive to the matter, a proposal to transfer justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav from Madhya Pradesh to the urban center is facing stiff opposition within the top court, particularly from judges whose parent judicature was Delhi.

The proposal, which has been sent to the govt for approval, includes objections to the advice recorded by three consultee Supreme Court judges within the kind of a letter that flags a raft of issues with the transfer policy for top court judges.

Consultee judges are those within the top court who have earlier served within the high courts where the judges being considered for elevation or transfer are currently posted. Though the Supreme Court collegium that decides on matters of transfer includes the jurist of India and also the next four most senior judges, the convention is to require views of the consultee judges for every decision.

People cited above said that one in all the consultee judges penned down expostulations on behalf of three of the four justices with Delhi as their parent judicature. This letter highlighted how the Delhi judicature has become one in every of the foremost sought-after high courts for postings, which several supreme court judges are making requests to be shifted to the Capital.

The letter by the Supreme Court justice to the opposite members of the collegium contended that allowing indiscriminate transfers of judges from different high courts to Delhi could hamper not only the promotional avenues for the judicial officers presently posted in Delhi, but also throttle the opportunities for the lawyers practising before the Delhi courts to be appointed as judges to the Delhi court.

The people cited above further said that the letter asserted that the proposed transfer (of justice Kaurav) doesn't constitute “better administration of justice” since the grounds of seeking the move are personal.

Underlining that the letter conveys the opinion of all the three Supreme Court judges whose parent supreme court is Delhi, the letter also sought withdrawal of the proposal to transfer justice Kaurav from Madhya Pradesh where he was appointed only in October 2021.

It added that the objections to the proposed transfer are on principle, and on the rationale behind allowing such transfers while there are many judicial officers and practising lawyers in Delhi looking forward to opportunities, as repeatedly demanded by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and other lawyer bodies within the Capital.

When contacted, SCBA president and senior counsel Vikas Singh has also registered his objections to the judges from different high courts being transferred to Delhi. “We have an oversized number of competent lawyers practising before the Supreme Court and therefore the Delhi court for several years. Why should their chances be ruined by getting judges from the opposite high courts to Delhi? this can be absolutely unfair to the lawyers in Delhi,” he said.

Singh added that SCBA has been repeatedly urging the collegium to contemplate practising lawyers to be appointed as judges within the Supreme Court, which the Delhi tribunal which neglects able lawyers either by not appointing them or by getting judges from other high courts would be extremely discouraging.