Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 17
In a major reshuffle in the judiciary, the Supreme Court Collegium has decided to recommend eight names of judges for appointment as chief justices of different high courts, sources said.
Led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, the three-member Collegium is also learnt to have recommended transfer of five chief justices and 28 other high court judges to other high courts.
The Collegium, which also included Justice UU Lalit and Justiuce AM Khanwilkar, has recommended names of judges for elevation as chief justices of the high courts of Allahabad, Calcutta, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telengana, Meghalaya, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The decisions – which were expected to be announced soon – were taken in the Collegium meetings held over the last few days, the sources said.
Calcutta High Court Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal is being recommended for appointment as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.
Justice Prakash Srivastava (MP HC), Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra (Chhattisgarh HC) and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi (Allahabad HC) have been recommended for appointment as chief justices of high courts of Calcutta, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, respectively.
They said Justice Satish Chandra Sharma (Acting CJ of Karnataka HC), Justice Ranjit V More (Bombay HC), Justice Aravind Kumar (Karnataka HC) and Justice RV Malimath (Karnataka HC) have been recommended for appointment as chief justices of high courts of Telangana, Meghalaya, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
Tripura High Court Chief Justice Akil A Kureshi is being shifted to the Rajasthan High Court. Earlier, due to differences in the Collegium over elevation of Justice Kureshi—one of the senior-most high court judges in India – to the Supreme Court no appointment could be made to the top court for almost two years.
Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Indrajit Mohanty is said to have been recommended for transfer to the Tripura High Court to replace Justice Kureshi.
The Collegium has also recommended transfer of chief justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Justice Arup Kumar Goswami to the Chhattisgarh High Court, chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice Mohd Rafiq to the Himachal Pradesh High Court and Meghalaya High Court chief justice Justice Biswanath Somadder to the Sikkim High Court.
Besides Justice Bindal, the Collegium has recommended names of Justices Prakash Srivastava, Prashant Kumar Mishra, Ritu Raj Awasthi, Satish Chandra Sharma, Ranjit V More, Aravind Kumar and R V Malimath for appointing them as chief justices of different high courts across the country, the sources said.
As on September 1, 2021, the 25 high courts having 1,098 sanctioned strength of judges had 465 vacancies and many of the high courts didn’t have regular chief justices.
However, after Justice Ramana took over as the 48th CJI on April 24, the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended 82 names to various high courts for appointment as judges.
Ending a two-year-long deadlock, the Supreme Court Collegium had last month recommended nine names, including those of three woman high court judges for elevation to the top court, taking its strength to 33 – one short of its sanctioned strength of 34.
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