As many as 43 names of the persons recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for appointment as Judges in various high courts were rejected and returned by the Central Government to the Collegium due to the reasons of views of consultee Judges, views of Constitutional Authorities, adverse Intelligence Bureau (IB) inputs, serious nature of complaints received against recommendees etc. This has been stated in an official reply filed by the Central Government in Rajya Sabha on 25 November 2016 in response to Question No. 1223 asked by Shri Motilal Vora, a Rajya Sabha M.P. from Congress. The reply was given by Shri P.P. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology.
So far, such reports were appearing in media quoting unnamed sources. But, now this information has been officially made available by the Central Government.
Shri Motilal Vora had asked the following questions in Rajya Sabha:
(a) whether Government has received the names of 77 Judges through Collegium in the last nine months;
(b) if so, the current status with regard to the appointment of Judges;
(c) the reasons for not appointing Judges by Government during the last nine months; and
(d) by when the final decision on the list received from the Collegium would be taken?
The Government’s reply to these questions was that yes, it had received the said 77 proposals for appointment as HC judges. Out of 77 proposals submitted by Supreme Court Collegium, the Central Government has appointed 34 Judges in various High Courts and sent the names of 43 recommendees to the Collegium for reconsideration. The Collegium reiterated the names of 37 recommendees out of these 43; the proposal of 3 recommendees has been deferred and the proposal of 3 recommendees are with the Collegium. The Government gave the above-mentioned reasons for referring back 43 recommendees to Supreme Court Collegium.
Government also informed that the filling of vacancies of Judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts is a continuous and collaborative process of the Judiciary and Executive. As the process of finalization of the revised Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of Judges to Supreme Court and High courts was likely to take some time, on the initiative of the Government of India the matter was taken up with the Supreme Court and the process of appointment of Judges has been resumed, pending finalization of the revised MoP.
Government also asserted that during the current year, as on 21.11.2016, 124 Additional Judges have been made permanent and 120 fresh appointments of Judges have been made in various High Courts.