•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

Rohatgi continues charge with 10-pages of bad collegium names but Khehar unimpressed by generalities

The government today told the Supreme Court that the collegium recommended and reiterated the appointments of people as judges despite adverse Intelligence Bureau reports and “severe” comments by its own judges questioning their ability and integrity in some cases.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi on Wednesday submitted to the court a list of names running into 10 pages with comments from the Intelligence Bureau, the government and the apex court judges to drive home the point that when the collegium insisted on such recommendations, the government was bound to accept them.

“Sometimes, we are forced to choose somebody” that the collegium has recommended and reiterated despite adverse IB reports and critical comments by the apex court judges and the reservation of the government, Rohatgi told the court.

He said that in one instance the President himself noted in his own hand and returned the recommended names for fresh consideration.

The matter relates to the appointment of two judges to Jammu and Kashmir High Court wherein the apex court collegium recommended one name for appointment as judge while withholding the other name when the reservation in both the cases was the same.

In the instant case the then President KR Narayanan returned the recommendations for reconsideration noting that both stood on the same footing.

“President of India made a note in his own hand saying both seems to be similarly situated agreeing with the line of the judges” having reservation about their appointments,” Rohatgi told the court.

Citing various instances, Rohatgi told the court that in one instance, a former chief justice of India, just a few months before his retirement, sought recommendation from the chief justice of a high court from eastern Indian state, of a name that was discussed and declined by the collegium earlier.

“Chief justice of this court, just before demitting the office revived a proposal, asking recommendation from the chief justice of the high court,” AG told the court asking ‘where was the occasion for it” pointing to inexplicable things happening under the collegium system.

He said that this “case had nothing to do with any adverse comments (either by the IB or by apex court judges) but some other principles were operating.”

The government furnished this information to the court after it had sought to know that in how many cases the collegiums reiterated recommendations despite adverse reports and government returning them.

The court was told that collegium recommended names where there were “severe” adverse comments from the apex court judges in respect of the names emanating from the high courts where they had served either as a judge or as a chief justice or both.

The attorney general told the court that in one case there were reservation in respect of a proposed name allegedly for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and in another there were question on the integrity of the proposed name.

As the attorney general referred to the reservations expressed by the apex court judges in respect of some names, Justice JS Khehar, heading the constitution bench, observed that these were general in nature and there was nothing concrete in them.

Referring to a judge who showed “no sense of discipline or sense of dignity of the court” Rohatgi told the court that it “never happened that a bench of the apex court will not sit till half of the day”.

But in the instant case when the said judge was a junior judge in the bench, the presiding judge used to wait for her and when she herself became the presiding judge the junior judge used to keep waiting for her.

AG asked that since the practice of the said judge not coming to court on time was known ever since her days in the high court, then how was she elevated to the apex court.

Click to show 12 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.