The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud on Tuesday recommended to the Centre the names of Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court, reported The Indian Express.
The fresh recommendation comes even as five previous recommendations by the Collegium, also consisting of Justices S K Kaul, K M Joseph, M R Shah, Ajay Rastogi and Sanjiv Khanna, are still pending.
While six members were unanimous on the name of Justice Bindal, Justice K M Joseph had reservations on the name of Justice Kumar on the ground that his name can be considered at a later stage, according to a resolution uploaded on the apex court website.
The apex court, which has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges, which includes the CJI, currently comprises 27 judges. “Thus, there are seven clear vacancies,” the resolution adopted by the Collegium said.
The Collegium, on December 13 last year, had recommended five names for elevation to the top court. They were: Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court; Justice Sanjay Karol, Chief Justice, Patna High Court; Justice P V Sanjay Kumar, Chief Justice, Manipur High Court; Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, Judge, Patna High Court; and 5. Justice Manoj Misra, Judge, Allahabad High Court.
The Collegium pointed out that the appointment is yet to be notified by the government, and said it had resolved to recommend two more names for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court against the two remaining vacancies.
The statement by the Collegium said, “after carefully evaluating the merit, integrity and competence of eligible Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of the High Courts and also accommodating a plurality of considerations, the Collegium” found Justices Bindal and Kumar “to be more deserving and suitable in all respects for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India”.
The resolution further said, “while recommending the above names the Collegium has taken into consideration the following aspects: a. The seniority of Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges in their respective parent High Courts as well as overall seniority of the High Court Judges; b. The merit, performance and integrity of the judges under consideration; and c. The need to ensure diversity and inclusion in the Supreme Court by: (i) representation of High Courts which are not represented or are inadequately represented, in the Supreme Court; (ii) appointing persons from marginalized and backward segments of society; (iii) gender diversity; and (iv) representation of minorities”.