Two more names were suggested by the Supreme Court Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud for elevation as the Supreme Court judges. Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, and Justice Aravind Kumar, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court were recommended by the members of the Collegium. In addition, the Collegium ensured the Union Law Ministry that the earlier recommendations to appoint five High Court judges as the judges of the top Court will have precedence over the current suggested names. CJI DY Chandrachud in his resolution mentioned that “The names recommended earlier by the Collegium by its resolution dated 13 December 2022 shall have precedence over the two names recommended presently for appointment to the Supreme Court. Therefore, the appointment of five judges recommended on 13 December 2022 should b notified separately and earlier in point of time before the two judges recommended by this resolution.”
The names recommended by the Collegium on December 13, 2022, include Justices Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, PV Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah, and Manoj Misra. They are the Chief Justices of different High Courts including Rajasthan, Patna, Manipur, and Allahabad. All these recommendations if cleared by the Central Government then the Supreme Court will work at the strength of 34 judges which is its sanctioned strength.
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A detailed statement was given by the Collegium highlighting the reasons for considering the two names as mentioned above. They said that “the resolution of the Collegium in regard to the appointment of Mr. Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad was unanimous. However, in regard to the appointment of Mr. Justice Aravind Kumar, Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat, Justice KM Joseph has expressed his reservations on the ground that his name can be considered at a later stage.”
While recommending the names, certain aspects were addressed by the Collegium, first was the performance, merit, and integrity of the judges. The second was the seniority of Chief Justices as well as the overall seniority of HC judges. The third was diversity and inclusion in the top Court by representatives of minorities, gender diversity, appointments from backward and marginalized segments of society, and representation of inadequately represented HCs in the Apex Court.
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