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A 1st, 2nd & 3rd in judgeships: Collegium tips Dua partner Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, NLS grads Chinnadorai Saravanan, Sunil Dutt Yadav for elevation [UPDATE-1]

The Supreme Court collegium has recommended to the Madras high court bench who would probably be the first of a modern Indian law firm’s partners, as well as the second-ever NLSIU Bangalore graduate.

Update 16:36: We have learned that a third NLSIU Bangalore graduate, Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav, has also been recommended by the collegium to become a judge at the Karnataka high court with four others, according to the collegium’s minutes. Yadav is a 1996 NLSIU graduate.

Dua Associates partner and Chennai office founder Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy has received the nod from the collegium, according to the minutes published on its website.

Ramamoorthy, who we have previously reported as representing a number of foreign law firms in the old Madras high court writ petition by AK Balaji, had set up Dua’s Chennai office in 2001 and focuses on commercial and corporate work, as well as litigation and arbitration.

He did not wish to comment when contacted, because the collegium's recommendations remained subject to a final nod by the government.

On top of that, less than three months after a first national law university graduate made it to a high court bench as a judge, NLSIU Bangalore has seen 1994-batch graduate Chinnadorai Saravanan get the nod from the Supreme Court collegium to become a judge of the Madras high court, alongside Ramamoorthy and seven other lawyers.

Saravanan is a graduate of NLSIU's first batch, which began holding its first classes in 1989.

The next-oldest national law schools, Nalsar Hyderabad, NLIU Bhopal and NUJS Kolkata only began their first classes between 1998 and 2000 respectively, so it could still be a decade or so before we see the first NUJS, Nalsar or NLIU high court judges.

Shekhar B Saraf, the first graduate from any national law school to have been appointed in September, was a 1996 graduate of NLSIU.

The NLSIU Facebook page posted the following message earlier today, congratulations Saravanan:

NLSIU celebrates second alumni judgeship
NLSIU celebrates second alumni judgeship

Out of the total of 11 names recommended for Madras high court judgeship this time, the collegium only confirmed its recommendation for the following nine:

(1) C. Emalias, (2) Ms. P.T.Asha, (3) M. Nirmal Kumar, (4) Subramonium Prasad, (5) Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, (6) N. Anand Venkatesh, (7) G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, (8) Krishnan Ramasamy, and (9) C. Saravanan

Prasad is the additional advocate general for Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court.

While all candidates' Intelligence Bureau checks came back clean, two candidates were not confirmed by the Supreme Court, which noted the following:

As regards Shri A.V. Radhakrishnan (mentioned at Sl. No.1 above), he is more than 57 years of age. Even on the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium he had crossed the maximum age limit of 55 years prescribed for Advocates recommended for elevation to the High Court Bench. Having regard to above, he is not found suitable for elevation to the High Court Bench.

As regards Shri C. Emalias (mentioned at Sl. No.2 above), as per record, though as on date he is more than the maximum age limit of 55 years prescribed for Advocates recommended for elevation to the High Court Bench, he was well within the said prescribed age limit on the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium. Thus, his name can be considered for elevation.

As regards Shri B. Pugalendhi (mentioned at Sl.No.6 above), certain adverse but unconfirmed inputs have been received by the Collegium. The Collegium considers it appropriate to get the same verified before taking final decision on the proposal for his elevation. Consideration of the proposal for his elevation can wait till the verification is got done by the Collegium. In that view of the matter, the proposal for elevation of Shri B. Pugalendhi is deferred for the present.

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