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16 July 2014

The Supreme Court collegiums turned down the government’s advice to “reconsider” its recommendation to elevate Karnataka high court justice Manjunath to chief justice at Punjab & Haryana, reported NDTV.

The Chief Justice of India, R M Lodha had criticized the government, two weeks ago, for dropping former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium's name from the panel of names suggested by the collegium for appointment as Supreme Court judges.

15 July 2014

The Rajasthan high court issued criminal contempt notice to the president of the Bar association and other lawyers, for giving a boycott call demanding the transfer of a judge, reported the PTI.

Bar Association president Gopeah Kumbhaj, former general secretary Rajesh Choudhary, lawyer Bharat Bhushan and others were served for going on boycott to demand that a lower court judge Mahnendra Choudhary, who had allegedly refused to favour Bhushan in his personal case, be transferred.

15 July 2014

The Centre asked the collegium to reconsider its recommendation of Karnataka high court justice Manjunath for elevation to chief justice at Punjab & Haryana high court after, according to “highly placed sources in the law ministry”, the Centre received complaints against him, reported The Hindu.

Manjunath was recommended for the post alongside the transfer of present Punjab & Haryana chief justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul to Madras high court. Justice Kaul’s transfer file was cleared, but justice Manjunath’s file was sent back to the collegium for “clarification or reconsideration”.

The nomination of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium elevation to the Supreme Court bench was derailed after a series of media leaks about Subramanium resulted in the advocate declining his nomination.

02 July 2014

Senior advocate Arvind Datar is being considered by the Supreme Court collegium, the Times of India first reported yesterday, after Legally India reported last week that senior counsel Uday Lalit too was in the process of being elevated to the Supreme Court.

02 July 2014

During the retirement function of Justice BS Chauhan, Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that he had requested Gopal Subramanium to withdraw his resignation from the Supreme Court bench elevation process, reported the Hindustan Times. However, the senior counsel wrote a "30-word regret letter" reiterating his withdrawal from the process, which the CJI discussed with the collegium and two future CJI's and decided not to "pursue" further.

Lodha also said at the function that he was critical of the government's decision to separate Subramanium's file from the other three candidates who were recommended by the collegium. "I have taken objection to the segregation, unilaterally done by the executive without my knowledge and concurrence. It was not proper."

"In the last 20 years, I have fought for independence of the judiciary and for me this is one subject that is non-negotiable... I will be the first man to leave this chair if I know independence of the judiciary has been compromised; I will not hold my office even for a second then."

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Hindustan Times: "The government has the highest regard for the judiciary, including the independence of the Supreme Court and all other courts of India. It also has the highest regard for the Chief Justice of India."

26 June 2014

Supreme Court senior advocate Uday U Lalit will be elevated to the apex court’s roster, it has been confirmed, as former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium withdrew his candidature facing controversy over his elevation.

25 June 2014

Senior counsel and Supreme Court judge candidate Gopal Subramanium has sent a rather candid letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) withdrawing his candidature.

19 June 2014

The law ministry has returned the file to elevate senior counsel Gopal Subramanium to the Supreme Court bench to the collegium, which will again have to reconsider whether it wants to elevate the advocate, though the ministry cleared the elevation of senior counsel Rohinton Nariman and high court chief justices Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goes for the president's confirmation, reported The Hindu.

The collegium of the Supreme Court has the option to again put forward Subramanium, which the government would have to go with, contrary to earlier opinions by advocates suggesting the government would have the option of delaying elevations indefinitely by sitting on files and never returning them to the collegium.

23 May 2014

Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha has set in motion the transfer of up to nine senior high court judges, reported the Economic Times.

According to senior high court officials four judges had received 'consent-seeking letters' - Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul could become Madras high court chief before his likely elevation to the apex court. Kaul, according to the ET, will be replaced by Karnataka high court's second-most senior judge Justice KL Manjunath, while Punjab and Haryana high court's Justice Jasbir Singh, who is also first puisne judge there, may head to Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh high court Justice Ashutosh Mohunta may return to Punjab and Haryana high court as puisne judge

According to thr ET, Manjula Chellur, chief justice of the Kerala high court could also go to Calcutta; Kerala high court's first puisne Justice KM Joseph to Uttarakhand; Patna's puisne Justice Navin Sinha to Chhattisgarh; Chhattisgarh first puisne Justice Sunil Sinha to Sikkim; and Rajasthan chief justice Amitava Roy to Orissa. [Economic Times]

14 May 2014

Gopal Subramanium Facing a long string of retirements during his term, Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha has recommended the elevation of two former solicitor generals to the apex court.

18 March 2014

The Madras HC held, deciding on maintainability, that a lawyer could not file a writ petition to have his name recommended to the judicial collegium for elevation to the bench, even if his CV has all the necessary points. [PTI]

05 March 2014

The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition by lawyers challenging the recommendation of 12 names for the Madras high court bench by its chief justice, saying it could only review for eligibility but not suitability.

27 February 2014

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved judgement in the challenge to the controversial 12 names that were recommended for judgeship at the Madras high court.

18 February 2014

The Supreme Court (SC) collegium withdrew the 12 names recommended for judgeship at the Madras high court, which had been opposed vehemently by a section of the HC’s bar and bench since December, reported the Times of India.

The collegium said that the withdrawal wasn’t based on an opinion of the merits of the names for selection, but was done keeping in mind the “unprecedented opposition” and the fact that the HC’s chief justice RK Agrawal had since been elevated to the SC and the new chief justice should be given a chance to consider names afresh.

The recommendation of the now withdrawn list had led to successive court boycotts by the bar, a petition by senior advocate R Gandhi against the recommendation and a controversial outburst by the Madras HC’s judge CS Karnan, among other things such as casteist slurs flying around at the HC’s bench.

27 January 2014

Madras high court (HC) senior advocate R Gandhi has asked to withdraw his petition to recall the controversial 12 names recommended for judgeships at the HC, reported the Times of India.

Advocates who had been boycotting work intermittently at the HC since December to protest against the judgeship recommendations, called off the boycott on Thursday after meeting the union law minister Kapil Sibal and the chief justice of India P Sathasivam, “on the latter’s assurance”. Gandhi had filed a memo for withdrawal of the petition on Friday “citing the same reason”, according to the TOI report.

17 January 2014

Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) president Paul Kanagaraj, with an MHAA “delegation”, met Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah seeking his intervention in recalling a list of 12 names recommended for judgeship at the HC, and taking exception to the fact that the recommended advocates were “shortlisted by the collegium on the interference of the Chief Justice of India”, reported the Deccan Chronicle.

Meanwhile the HC’s justice CS Karnan wrote to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes seeking action against chief justice RK Aggarwal for “changing his portfolio [of cases] from Karur to Sivanga”.

Legally India delved into the polico-cultural climate at the Madras Bar, a lot of which apparently revolves around casteism.{jcomments off}