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SC collegium, facing pressure, rejects 3 CJs' elevation as “counter-productive” to justice

Bombay high court (HC) chief justice (CJ) Mohit Shah, Gujarat HC CJ Bhaskar Bhattacharya, and Uttarakhand HC CJ Barin Ghosh will retire without elevation to the Supreme Court (SC) after the SC collegium unanimously rejected their nominations as potentially proving “counter-productive” to the administration of justice. [Hindustan Times]

Chief justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir wrote for the collegium:

The collegium has unanimously taken the view that they are not suitable to hold the office of Supreme Court judge and their elevation as such would prove to be counter-productive and not conducive to administration of justice.

The collegium has not recommended the names of these three chief justices for good reasons and after taking into consideration all relevant factors, including their merit, ability and seniority at all levels.

Former CJI VN Khare commented:

It is unprecedented if this has been done. My experience has been that reasons for elevation or otherwise are not communicated in writing.

Last week the Gujarat High Court Advocates Association (GHCAA) forwarded a resolution to the President of India protesting against the decision to supersede Bhattacharya in SC elevations, and the government's law ministry said it would consider replacing the collegium system.

The collegium elevated Andhra Pradesh HC CJ  Pinaki Ghose and Himachal Pradesh HC CJ Kurian Joseph to the apex court in February.

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