Bombay High Court lawyers start signature campaign in support of CJI Misra

Bombay High Court lawyers start signature campaign in support of CJI Misra

Cheryl Sanders
April 26, 2018

Senior Supreme Court advocate Indu Malhotra on Wednesday became the first woman lawyer to be elevated as as a judge of the apex court.

The CJI, on his part, has not yet responded to the letter.

Malhotra's swearing-in is scheduled for Friday but some sources felt that the judiciary might come under pressure from within to await a decision on Justice Joseph, which can put the government in a fix. The SC had only sent the recommendations to the law ministry on January 22, after which the process of considering the names started, an official confirmed. The then Chief Justice of India RM Lodha had written a strongly worded letter to the law minister against it on June 30, 2014.

The last time the government had to segregate two recommendations made together, it led to a controversy.

Justice Lodha had written to the government when it had decided against elevating senior lawyer and former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium to the Supreme Court, while accepting other recommendations of the collegium.

The collegium had taken into consideration combined seniority on all-India basis of chief justices and senior puisne judges of high courts, apart from their merit and integrity, the body of top five judges of the Supreme Court had said.

The delay in processing the January 10 recommendations was raised by Justice Kurien Joseph in a letter to the CJI on April 9.

The Centre cleared senior advocate Indu Malhotra's name for elevation as a Supreme Court judge, making her the latest entrant on the Bench. The Supreme Court has seen only six women judges since Independence.

Further, it has been over two years since the Supreme Court asked the government to finalise the Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges.

"Failure to discharge their duty by sitting over on the recommendations of the Collegium doing nothing, in administrative law, is an abuse of power".

She will be the first woman judge to be appointed to the top post directly from the bar.

His absence from the court today assumes significance as sources had said that Justice Chelameswar was present in the morning meeting on Monday when the Naidu had rejected the impeachment notice.

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