Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 13
A search committee set up by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has shortlisted names of 48 lawyers of the top court to be considered for elevation as judges to 17 high courts.
Generally, the Collegium considers only High Court lawyers for appointment of judges in a particular High Court but the SCBA has been demanding that the top court lawyers should be considered for elevation to High Courts.
The SCBA search panel has shortlisted nine names for the Allahabad High Court; six for the Punjab and Haryana High Court; five each for the Patna High Court and the Calcutta High Court; three each for the Highs Courts of Delhi, Gauhati, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand; two each for the Bombay High Court and the Madras High Court; and one each for the High Courts of Manipur, Kerala, Rajasthan, Telangana, Orissa, Karnataka, and Jammu & Kashmir, the SCBA said.
Headed by SCBA president Vikas Singh, the seven-member panel included SCBA Vice-President Pradeep Rai, SCBA Executive Committee member Mahalakshmi Pavani and four senior advocates.
The entire exercise was conducted over six meetings via video-conferencing in which names of 69 advocates were considered and finally 48 of them were shortlisted.
The 25 High Courts have a sanctioned strength of 1,098 judges. However, around 450 posts of judges are vacant.
SCBA President Vikas Singh had on May 31 written to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, demanding that advocates practicing in the Supreme Court should be considered for appointment as High Court judges.
“The experienced and seasoned lawyers practicing in the apex court will prove to be deserving and meritorious judges of high courts,” Singh had written.
Thereafter, the SCBA Executive Committee had set up a “search committee” consisting of its office-bearers and senior lawyers to facilitate the process of elevation by identifying deserving and meritorious Supreme Court practitioners.
However, several high court bar associations had opposed the SCBA’s demand.