5 collegium-picked judges to be posted soon: Centre

Govt. response comes after SC flags delay in appointment to its Bench; court gives Centre 10 days to clear pending transfer recommendations of HC judges and appointments of HC Chief Justices

The Supreme Court on Friday recorded a submission by Attorney General R. Venkataramani that warrants of appointment of five judges to the top court will likely be issued by February 5.

“It is happening… The five warrants of appointment are being issued… It goes to the President by evening,” Mr. Venkataramani said.

The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended Justices Pankaj Mithal, Sanjay Karol, P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Manoj Misra for appointment to the top court on December 13, 2022.

They have been pending with the government for nearly two months.

The collegium had further proposed Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Rajesh Bindal and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar to the government for appointment as Supreme Court judges on January 31. The appointment of all seven would see the court function with its full sanctioned strength of 34 judges.

“The five recommendations were made in December, we are in February… You are saying, and we have faith in you, that the warrants will be issued. That ‘it is happening’... ‘When’ is the next question,” a Bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and A.S. Oka asked the top law officer.

“By Sunday, they will be issued… it is happening,” Mr. Venkataramani said, hesitant to be pinned down to a specific day.

“’Happening, happened, will happen’... When things have not been happening for years together, we do not want you to give a date, but tell us in how many days it will happen… two days, three days, four days? How many days should we record in our order?” Justice Kaul asked.

“With a sense of responsibility I am saying, the five warrants will be issued. It is happening,” Mr. Venkataramani said.

The court further put the government on an ultimatum, giving it 10 days to clear Supreme Court Collegium recommendations on transfer of High Court judges and High Court appointments, especially pending appointments of High Court Chief Justices.

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