New Delhi, January 31
Amid the ongoing standoff with the government over judicial appointments, the Supreme Court Collegium on Tuesday recommended elevation of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar as Judges of the top court.
Having a sanctioned strength of 34 Judges, the Supreme Court is functioning with 27 Judges and has “seven clear vacancies”. There were 69,768 pending cases in the top court as on January 1.
The six-member Collegium led by CJI DY Chandrachud made the recommendation even as the Centre continued to sit over its earlier recommendation for the elevation of three High Court Chief Justices and two High Court Judges to the top court. The other members of the Collegium are: Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice KM Joseph, Justice MR Shah, Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
While the Collegium’s resolution for the elevation of Justice Bindal was unanimous, Justice Joseph expressed his reservations to the elevation of Justice Kumar, saying his name could be considered at a later stage, the top court announced on its website.
While Justice Bindal stands at serial number 2 in the combined All-India seniority of High Court Judges, Justice Kumar is at number 26.
After deliberating on the names of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts eligible for appointment to the SC and carefully evaluating their “merit, integrity and competence”, Justice Bindal and Justice Kumar were found to be “more deserving and suitable in all respects”, it said.
On December 13, the Collegium had recommended Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, Patna High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Karol, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar, Patna High Court Judge Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Allahabad High Court Manoj Misra for appointment as Supreme Court Judges.
The resolution specifically mentioned that the appointments were yet to be notified by the government.
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