SC seeks reasons for delay in clearing transfer of HC judges

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday sought government’s response on delay in the transfer of judges from one High Court to another as recommended by the top court collegium.

The bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought the government response as it was told that several recommendations of the top court collegiums including the transfer of Gujarat High Court judge Justice M.R.Shah were pending since February 22, 2016.

Drawing the attention of the court on the government sitting on the transfer and appointment of judges, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani told the court that “just see what is happening with the administration of justice.A Executive has to be necessarily taught a lesson”.

Responding to the criticism of the government for dragginbg its feet on the judges appointments and transfer, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that in November 2016, they had cleared all and nothing is pending.

“Collegium has reiterated 37 names for appointment as judges that were returned by the government. It would take six weeks to process them and that six weeks are coming to an end today,” he added.

Taking a dig at Attorney General Rohatgi’s submission that procedure was being followed, senior counsel Yatin Ozha said that procedure seems to be quite vague.

While the file of Justice Shah for transfer from Gujarat High Court to Madhya Pradesh High Court is pending on the table of an official in PMO since February 22, 2016, many recommendations made prior to it, simultaneously with it or even latter have been given effect to, he said.

For a long time now the government is sitting the transfer of the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court Justice K.M. Joseph to the Hyderabad High Court. As a consequence the transfer of Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court is not taking place, which is, in turn, affecting the transfer of a judge as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.

The court has given the government two weeks time to place its response and reasons for delay in the transfer of judges.

–IANS

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